Animal testing ethics
There are comprehensive regulations regarding the design of premises for animal husbandry, holding systems and maintenance routines. When you perform animal experiments, you are also subject to special conditions. The regulations usually specify minimum levels. The use of laboratory animals is regulated by the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s regulations and general advice on laboratory animals (SJVFS 2019:9, case no. L150). The County Administrative Board is the supervisory authority for compliance with legislation concerning laboratory animals. The board performs regular checks, including of animal welfare and staff training, and that all statutory information is available at the facility.
Researchers must always work according to the so-called 3R principle. This involves:
- exploring the possibility of using animal-free alternatives (Replace)
- not using more animals than necessary (Reduce) and
- always trying to refine the models used (Refine). Refinement means choosing models that cause the least amount of strain on the animal. Choose non-invasive techniques when available, work aseptically during surgical procedures and provide good pain relief when needed.
LU’s organisation for animal testing issues
As the authorisation holder, the vice-chancellor has ultimate responsibility and thus also criminal liability for the University’s use of animals in research. The practical responsibility has been delegated to an operational manager who in turn has delegated the responsibility to other mandatory functions: the director of animal welfare and care, the director of information, the director of education and expertise and the veterinarian in charge.
Animal Welfare Committee
In accordance with current regulations, Lund University has a body to ensure animal safety called the Animal Welfare Committee (NDF). The committee acts on behalf of the vice-chancellor, and is composed of:
- a chair, and operational manager.
- the University’s three chief directors (approved by the Swedish Board of Agriculture),
- the chief veterinarian,
- representatives of the four faculties concerned (Medicine, Science, Engineering, and Humanities and Theology)
- a representative of staff who work with the animals.
When researchers from Lund University carry out, or participate in, animal-based research in countries outside Sweden and the researcher with project responsibility at Lund University suspects that conditions for the animal handling in question deviate from the principles that permeate the EU’s directive, participation in such testing shall first be assessed and approved by the Lund University Board for Animal Protection Issues.