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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.