Information on animal welfare and animal experimentation

Dr. Paulin Jirkof started as 3R coordinator at UZH

Paulin Jirkof

Mrs Dr. Paulin Jirkof supports the UZH Dept of Animal Welfare since April 1st 2018 as 3R-coordinator.

With the establishment of the position of a 3R coordinater, the UZH board of directors made an important mark for the promotion of 3R and also emphasizes the importance of animal welfare at the UZH.

Dr. Paulin Jirkof's office is located on Campus Irchel (Y11G70). She can be reached by phone  044-635 82 94 or Email

Adaptations of the Animal Welfare Ordinance and Ordinance on Training in Animal Husbandry and in the Handling of Animals

FSVO, 10.1.2018: The adaptations of the Animal Welfare Ordinance and other regulations in the veterinary field promote the careful handling of animals. The changes will come into effect on March 1, 2018.

The media release, the new ordinances as well as the corresponding explanatory text can be found hier

Animal welfare officer for animal experiments

So far, the Animal Welfare Ordinance lacked the description of the function, taks and competences  for animal welfare officers (AWOs), who support the researchers in the approval process and play an important role as contact persons for the cantonal authorities. In particular, AWOs shall ensure that the information required for the assessment of the indispensable mean which is the basis for the decision on approval of an animal experimentation application is given in detail in the applications.

Further information (not available in English yet): Articles 129, 129a and 129b of the Animal Welfare Ordinance.


Euthanasia of animals

If the treatment of sick or injured animals is hopeless or only possible with great pain, they should be euthanized to limit the suffering. The Animal Welfare Ordinance now lays down which criteria a professional and animal welfare-compliant euthanasia must fulfill. The new regulations are explained in a series of animal species-specific information („Fachinformationen“) of the FSVO.

Further information (not available in English yet): Article 177 (1) and (1bis), Article 179 of the Animal Welfare Ordinance.


Examinations become compulsory for all educations in the field of animal experiments

Further information (not available in English yet): Animal Welfare Training Ordinance

Swiss Animatch

Swiss Animatch aims to reduce the number of animals in the 3R (reduction) by sharing organs from animals euthanized in a licensed animal experiment.
UZH researchers can register at the following link:
It takes extra effort to create an offer in Swiss Animatch, but it can have a big effect in terms of reduction.
So sign up today, because SHARING IS CARING.
If you have any questions, please contact the Animal Welfare Officers.

Weighing of interests for animal experiments

Guidance Weighing of Interests
Guidance Weighing of Interests

Researchers that apply for animal experimentation in Switzerland need to justify the need to use animals under ethical as well as scientific aspects. The ethical evaluation takes place in the form of a "weighing of interests".

 The commission for animal ethics (Kommission für Tierversuchsethik, KTVE) has published a guidance that explains the principles of the weighing of interets and should help researchers to carry out the procedure correctly.

NC3Rs and CAMARADES launch new web app for systematic reviews of animal studiesfor researchers and interested persons


SyRF is a free-to-use online platform for researchers to perform systematic review and meta-analysis of animal studies. It was developed by the CAMARADES group using an NC3Rs infrastructure award. The SyRF app has been designed to help optimise and streamline systematic reviews.

Statistics of Animals used in Experiments for the year 2016: Less animals used than in the previous year

Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office: In Switzerland, 629 773 animals were used for animal experiments in 2016. This represents a decrease of 7.7% compared to the previous year. This decline is mainly due to the completion of various projects with a large number of fish and amphibians. Three quarters of the animals were not exposed to or only slight stress. Two-thirds of the animals used were mice.

In the canton of Zurich, there was a decrease of 11% compared to 2015.

Statistics page of the FSVO (only German and French)

New video tutorial released: mouse handling made easier

A new resource, launched this week, shows technical staff and researchers how to handle mice using non-aversive methods. The tutorial is based on research funded by the NC3Rs and BBSRC, carried out at the University of Liverpool by Professor Jane Hurst and Dr Kelly Gouveia1,2. The aim is to promote widespread uptake of refined methods of handling laboratory mice by providing practical advice and tackling common misconceptions about the improved techniques.

  1. Hurst JL, West RS (2010) Taming anxiety in laboratory mice. Nat Methods. Oct;7(10):825-6. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1500
  2. Gouveia K, Hurst JL (2013) Reducing Mouse Anxiety during Handling: Effect of Experience with Handling Tunnels. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66401.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066401

ShARM: Sharing ageing research models

ShARM is a not for profit organisation, open to all scientific investigators in the UK and overseas, aiming to accelerate research into ageing by facilitating the sharing of resources. ShARM provides immediate and cost effective access to aged murine models and their tissues, and promotes the networking for researchers via its online collaborative environment. It is funded by Wellcome Trust and works in partnership with MRC Harwell and the MRC-Arthirtis Research UK Centre for Integrgated research into Muscuskeletal Ageing (CIMA).

NC3R: approaches to reduce and refine the use of GA mice.


Over the last year the NC3Rs has been publishing a series of opinion pieces from Dr Sara Wells, Director of the Mary Lyon Centre, MRC Harwell Institute, focusing on the use and welfare of genetically altered (GA) mice. The pieces cover everything from background strain to neonatal welfare assessments and their implications for reducing and refining animal use, as well as for ensuring reproducible and robust research. The final article in the series ‘Letting the technical tail wag the scientific dog!’ is now available on our website.

These pages form part of a larger hub on the use of genetically altered mice.