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The DFG awards the Ursula M. Händel Animal Welfare Prize to those scientists who are considered to have made exemplary and sustained efforts to improve the welfare of animals in research. In particular, this includes the development of processes which contribute to the reduction, regulation, and replacement of animals in research.
The Ursula M. Händel Animal Welfare Prize was created on the initiative of its eponymous founder. For many years Ms Händel (1915-2011) was committed in many different aspects of animal welfare. Amongst other achievements, Ms Händel founded the "Bonner Arbeitskreis für Tierschutzrecht" (Bonn Working Association for Animal Welfare Legislation), through which she worked for amendments to animal welfare legislation. One of her particular concerns was the welfare of animals in science and research. Her particular goals in this area were to limit the suffering of laboratory animals as far as possible and to reduce the number of experiments on animals. For this purpose, Ms. Händel donated considerable funds to the DFG to be awarded to one or more projects aimed at improving animal welfare in research. Currently amounting to a value of €80,000, the Ursula M. Händel Animal Welfare Prize is the largest research award of its kind in Germany. It is awarded every two years.