Legislation and Procedures
In Switzerland, the field of animal research is tightly regulated by one of the strictest legislative regimes in the world, which promotes ethically responsible research.
Each experiment with non-human primates requires an individual authorisation by the cantonal veterinary office of the specific canton where the experiment takes place. All experiments that cause the animal harm or suffering (classified as severity degree 1-3) are examined beforehand by the cantonal commission for animal experimentation.
In the Canton of Fribourg, each experiment with non-human primates requires an individual authorisation issued by the cantonal veterinary office. All experiments that cause the animal harm or suffering (classified as severity degree 1-3) are examined beforehand by the cantonal commission for animal experimentation. The office refers to the recommendations of the commission to decide whether it will issue the authorisation, often with conditions, or not.
The Federal Food, Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) has overall supervision of animal experiments. It can ask additional questions, impose conditions or appeal against a cantonal decision. An experiment may only start 30 days after the cantonal authorisation is issued, a period within which the FSVO may exercise its right of appeal. Each authorisation is granted for a maximum of three years. Experimental protocols must be written for each authorisation, and annually, a report on the number of animals used and the severity of harm or suffering per authorisation must be submitted to the FSVO.
The Researchers at the University of Fribourg are in close contact with the cantonal veterinary office and there are regular controls of husbandry and experiments by the veterinary office.
Since 2011, the University of Fribourg has also had an animal welfare officer (AWO), mandated by the Animal Protection Ordinance since 2018 for all institutions and laboratories which conduct animal experiments. The AWO supports the researchers in applying all legal requirements including the 3R principle. It reviews all animal experimentation applications, provides basic and continuing education and checks that the facilities and the experiments comply with the regulations.
SR 455: Animal Welfare Act
SR 455-1: Animal Protection Ordinance (FR/DE)
SR 455-163: FSVO Ordinance
SR 455.109.1: FDHA Ordinance