University of Zurich Rejects the Initiative to Ban Animal and Human Ex­pe­ri­men­tation

The initiative to ban experiments on animals and humans would mean the prohibition of all research with animals and clinical studies involving humans. The import of drugs developed based on experiments with animals and humans would also no longer be allowed. The University of Zurich rejects the initiative. If the initiative passes it will have devastating consequences for scientific research and medical care in Switzerland.

UZH Statement

Vetucation® Award 2021 for E-Learning-Module: Ethics of Animal Research

The e-learning module "Ethics of Animal Research - An online course" was awarded the Vetucation Award 2021 of the University of Vienna, a prize for excellent digital teaching projects.

This online course is a collaboration between the Office for Animal Welfare and 3R and the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine at UZH, the Animal Welfare Group at ETHZ and the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Vienna. The module is offered via OLAT for members of the UZH and ETHZ.

Animal experimentation is the subject of intense social, scientific, legal and ethical debates. The online course introduces ethical issues in animal research that affect medicine, the natural sciences and the social sciences and that require critical reflection by these disciplines in a joint effort. The course provides an introduction to animal experimentation ethics, ethical theories as well as harm-benefit analysis, the basics of legal regulation of animal experimentation and introduces the 3Rs principle.

Link E-Learning

Statistics UZH - Animals in experiments

The figures on animals used in experiments at UZH 2020 can be found here.

Not all animals used in experiments are bred as laboratory animals. Patient animals of the animal hospital, pets and farm animals that are examined for experimental purposes also count as "experimental animals" in the statistics, even if they remain with their owners during and/or after the experiment. Wild animals that are studied for ecological research in their habitat are also listed as animals in experiments.

swissuniversities warns against the initiative for a ban on animal and human experimentation

The initiative jeopardises progress, innovation and education in the life sciences and biotechnologies in Switzerland.

The federal popular initiative "Yes to a ban on experiments on animals and humans - Yes to research paths with impetus for safety and progress", which is to be submitted to the Federal Chancellery on 18 March 2019, aims to ban all experiments on animals and humans as well as the import of products such as medicines for which animal and/or human experiments have been carried out. In addition, the initiative demands that animal experiments be enshrined in the Federal Constitution as cruelty to animals and thus a crime. The initiative represents an extreme position that would not only endanger research. It would also prevent humans and animals in Switzerland from benefiting from future medical advances.

Statement 19.3.2019

Revised Policy on Experimental Animal Research

The first version of the Policy on Experimental Animal Research was published 2013. In the meantime, some legal and UZH-internal changes occurred and the Policy had to be adapted. The revised version came into force February 2nd 2021 (an English version will be available soon).

In addition to clarifications of content and adaptations due to legal changes, some sections have also been supplemented. An important addition is in section 4 where it is stated that the data from every animal experiment must be published or made accessible in a suitable form. This point is also relevant in the sense of an "open data" policy, because even from discontinued experiments or experiments with non-significant results, findings can be obtained for other experiments or meta-analyses.

Rehoming project

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UZH / Frank Brüderli

Due to a collaboration between Swiss Animal Protection and the University of Zurich, a long-term re-homing project was established in autumn 2018. The aim is to give suitable animals from animal experiments a new life in good places. Some of the tame and lively animals have already been rehomed, others are still waiting for a new home...

Article and movie (both german) about the initiative from 2021.