Animal Welfare and Ethics

It is a legal and moral obligation to replace animals in research when possible, and to minimize pain and suffering whenever animals have to be used. At the Department of Experimental Medicine, the 3Rs constitute the basic concept underpinning all our work.

The Department's dedication to the 3Rs

At AEM, we are dedicated to the advancement of the principles of the 3Rs: Replacement, Reducation, and Refinement.

These principles imply that animals should be replaced with non-animal models if possible (replacement), and if animals have to be used, as few animals as possible should be used to obtain the scientific data (reduction), and finally, those animals used should be used optimally with highest possible welfare (refinement)

The Department's contribution to the 3Rs

At University of Copenhagen, we have an Animal Welfare Body also abbreviated DVO  - Dyrevelfærdsorgan in Danish (equivalent to an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee or IACUC), which is advisory on animal welfare issues including for AEM.

The primary focus of the DVO is to:

  • Provide oversight of the animal care and use programme
  • Stimulate the culture of care
  • Provide tools for implementation of recent technical and scientific developments in relation to the 3Rs

Read about our research activities

Courses in laboratory animal science

The Department is dedicated to education and continuous professional development of people working with laboratory animals. This involves the legally compulsory courses in laboratory animal science that all scientists or technicians must pass before doing experiments on animals, as well as courses at an advanced level for the development and improvement of skills in animal experimentation.

The Department has a strong focus on continuous professional development of our technical staff, and provides internship for 15-20 animal caretaker trainees annually.

Veterinary overview of all research project plans

The clinical veterinarians at AEM must approve all project plans and ensure that these are in full compliance with the relevant licenses from the authorities. The veterinarians report on relevant project animal welfare issues to the DVO.

Do you have a concern regarding animal care or animal welfare in experiments?

There are several ways to submit a concern regarding animal care and/or animal welfare.