Information on animal welfare and animal experimentation

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.