Table of contents
Application for a licence to perform animal experiments
Anyone wishing to conduct animal experiments must apply to the Cantonal Authorities for permission. Applications describing the aim of the project as well as the detailed methodological aspects and ethical evaluations are to be submitted to the Cantonal Veterinary Office via the webapplication e-tierversuche (e-tv).
Information on e-tierversuche, a user manual, updates of the web application and FAQs you will find on the FSVO website.
For drafting the application the AWO recommends using the Word document Form A issued by the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO). When the application is finalized one can copy and paste the plain text into e-tierversuche.
Please note that you need a "statement" of the AWO before you are able to submit your application to the Cantonal Veterinary Office. In case you have questions concerning this "statement" please get in touch with the AWO.
Form A - Application for permission to perform animal experiments
Before you start writing or when writing an animal experimentation application consult the explanatory notes on filling out Form A (PDF, 263 KB) published by Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO).
You will find these explanatory notes also in e-tierversuche at each subchapter by clicking the "i" button - see screenshot below.
You also have to consult the Criteria for returning application (PDF, 425 KB)before/when writing an animal experimentation application.
Applications will be checked according to these rejection criteria after submission and if applicable sent back directly to the applicant ("application will be reopened") - WITHOUT any involvement of the Animal Experimentation Commission.Thus, if these criteria are not met, there will be a delay in the processing of the application.
In order to save the applicants time, the Vet Office has put these criteria together in August 2018.
With the 'Application for permission to perform animal experiments', the applicant needs to list all persons involved in these animal experiments. Note that you can only save your application in e-tv once you added the personnel. For new persons you need to upload their certificates of education and training concerning animal experimentation as well as a CV, for persons already registered you need to upload the certificated for continuing education (see below).
Every person involved in animal experimentation is required to provide proof of their obligatory and continuing education according to the Ordinance of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (FDEA) on Training in Animal Husbandry and in the Handling of Animals.
As a general rule Experimenters need LTK Module 1 (or a different FELASA category B accredited course), Study Directors (as well as their deputies) need LTK Module 2 (similar to FELASA C) as basic education. Everyone must show a minimum of 4 days of continued education within 4 years. The LTK together with the AWO offers each September a 1d course on "Actual Topics of Laboratory Animal Science".
Information and guidelines for animal experimentation
Further guidelines and information of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office regulate individual topics and have to be considered when applying for permission to perform animal experiments.
(This information is only available in German: Tierversuche und Alternativmethoden)
Ethical Principles and Guidelines for Experiments on Animals
The Ethics Committee for Animal Experimentation of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) and the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) provide “Ethical principles and guidelines for animal experimentation” and a guide for self-assessment to assess ethically conflicting issues in animal experimentation.
In addition, the ‘Dignity of the animal' study group of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office has devised a model procedure to ensure that weighing of interests is carried out correctly and uniformly.
Animal orders and import
Genetically modified animals
When genetically modified animals are bred, a "datasheet for genetically modified lines or strained mutants" must be filled in.
This datasheet must be sent to the Cantonal Veterinary Office together with the application to perform animal experiments before these animals are taken into an experiment.
More information on genetically modified animals and help for filling out the datasheet and forms can be found on this page.
Genetically modified lines that are not sufficiently characterized need to be inspected and observed, and putative constraints need to be recorded according to the Ordinance of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office on laboratory animal husbandry, the production of genetically modified animals and the methods of animal experimentation (Animal Experimentation Ordinance; 455.163). The head of the laboratory animal facility is responsible for the recording of constraints in small rodents.
Applications to perform animal experiments are submitted to the Cantonal Veterinary Office via the webapplication e-tierversuche. The subsequent approval process depends on the highest expected (prospective) severity grade. Experiments in grade 0 (no harm) will be evaluated directly by the Cantonal Veterinary Office. Applications with all other grades are forwarded to the Cantonal Commission for Animal Experiments (members 2015-2019, see page 5) for an assessment. The decision of the Cantonal Veterinary Office (permission form B) will usually follow the Commission’s recommendation. In case the Cantonal Veterinary Office comes to a different decision as the Commission, it has to defend its decision towards the Committee.
The applicant, the Cantonal Commission for Animal Experiments, and the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office are informed about the decision of the Cantonal Veterinary Office. These parties can object to the decision during an appeal period of 30 days after the licence was granted. The animal experiments may only be started after this period pf 30d if no objections have been received.
Permission for animal experimentation granted - important reminders
All conditions and requirements of the application and of the licence have to be strictly adhered to. In case changes are necessary, supplementary applications have to be submitted to and approved by the Cantonal Veterinary Office.
During an animal experiment a written protocol (see art. 144) has to be recorded and must be shown to the authorities (e.g. members of the Cantonal Veterinary Office or od the Cantonal Commission for Animal Experiments) on demand. The written record must contain all information about the animals as well as the experiments they were involved in. In particular, monitoring of the animals and the compliance with the termination criteria have to be documented.
In case of unexpected cases of death the Study Director is responsible to investigate the cause of death.
Reports on animal experimentation
All persons conducting animal experiments must present an annual report using e-tierversuche to the Cantonal Veterinary Office. The report contains the same section as the (old) form C. Only the resource manager can submit the report to the Cantonal Veterinary Office via e-tv. If the animal experiments are concluded, a final report using e-tv has to be submitted to the cantonal authorities within two months. In addition the resource managers needs to verify all information that will go public (title/aim of study, field of study, animal species, number of animals per severity degree) and certify that the data is correct (Animal Welfare Act, art. 20A).
Since November 2014 the FSVO publishes every three months title, purpose, number of animals and severity of completed animal experiments on the FSVO statistic website.
Explanatory notes help to fill in Form C