Permanent Senate Commission on Animal Research

Information at a Glance

The DFG's contribution to the responsible handling of experimental animals: information from the Senate Commission on Animal Protection and Experimentation.

The use and legitimation of animal experiments in research is, and will remain, an ongoing issue in political and social debate. Studies using animal experiments are currently indispensable in basic biological research and in the more medically focused area of translational research. They constitute an essential pillar of scientific discovery. At the same time, animal welfare is legally anchored in the constitution as a national objective. Balancing the value of scientific progress and of animal welfare confronts researchers with significant ethical challenges and requires them to be particularly accountable.

The Senate Commission is an interdisciplinary Committee of Experts that deals with current scientific developments as well as the complex ethical and legal framework concerning animal protection and research experimentation. The Commission advises the statutory bodies of the DFG as well as policy-makers and government agencies. In its advisory capacity, it also makes its expertise available to researchers, universities and research institutions. The Commission promotes the sound training of early career researchers in research using animals by (further) developing specific training programmes. The Senate Commission produces information materials and contributes its expertise to meetings and discussion groups with the aim of improving public awareness about animal experimentation in research and promoting factual and informed debate on the issue.

Guidelines: The 3Rs Principle and the Validity of Scientific Research

This document describes the relationship between measures of the scientific validity of research projects and requirements for high animal welfare standards. It provides guidance on planning, describing and carrying out projects.

Statement: Approval Process for Animal Experiments

Since the amendment of Germany's Animal Welfare Act in 2013, considerable problems have emerged in practice with respect to the approval process for animal experiments. In this statement, the Senate Commission summarises these problems and calls for improvements to the implementation of the process.

Position Paper: Securing Efficient Biomedical Research

In this position paper, the DFG’s Permanent Senate Commission formulates recommendations for the creation of framework conditions to ensure high-performance biomedical research while at the same time meeting the very highest standard in terms of research quality and animal welfare.

Transparent Animal Experiments Initiative

Together with the information plattform on animal research „Tierversuche Verstehen“ (in German only) sponsored by the Alliance of Science Organisations, the Senate Commission launched the “Transparent Animal Experiments Initiative” at the beginning of July 2021. The initiative involves research facilities in the life sciences providing transparent information about animal experiments, getting actively involved in dialogue about animal research, sharing ideas and publicising activities.

Further Information

Commission Secretariat