On the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, the EU Parliament adopted Directive 2010/63/EU. The essential factor is the 3R principle: Replacement, Reduction and Refinement. In 2013, the third amendment to the German Animal Welfare Act was revised and adapted to the European Directive. The majority of animals in science are used in basic research, as well as in translational and applied research. In medical research, animal experimentation is conducted to clarify previously unknown life processes and basic biological relationships, in order to improve diagnostics and treatment of human diseases. Before an animal experiment can be performed, it must be reported to and approved by the responsible authorities. The planned research project must be justified scientifically, and it must be demonstrated that the personnel and spatial/ technical prerequisites are in place to successfully complete the project. If all conditions are met, the approval can be granted, but may be subject to conditions. The guiding principle of essentiality also affects the procedure of the experiments: The number of animals used and the pain, suffering and damage caused to these animals must be limited to what is absolutely necessary. In this context, the 3R principle has to be applied. To obtain reliable results, it is essential that the laboratory animals are in normal physiological conditions and free of pain and fear. Scientific interest and animal welfare are therefore not in opposition, but rather mutually dependent. In our GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) laboratory we test new drug release systems for different biomedical applications in rabbits after careful selection of the animal model. Stress during animal experiments must be avoided as far as possible. Providing pain-killers and ensuring the best possible husbandry and care conditions are crucial for the animal’s wellbeing and absence of pain and anxiety. In the present work we report our different experience in a GLPcertified biomaterial test laboratory.
© 2019 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston
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