Reagenzgläser

Facts and figures

Number of animals and type of experiments

Number of animals used for scientific purposes at the MDC

Most of the animals reported by the MDC were eventually sacrificed to provide scientists with samples of cells or tissues that couldn't be obtained in any other way. These animals appear in the category "non-recovery", which also also includes the number of animals that died while placed under anesthesia for a procedure.

In many other types of experiments, animals suffer only mildly. A small number of experiments involve severe suffering; here the animals are treated with analgesics and other measures are taken to ease their distress. Everyone regards this situation as an unfortunate necessity, a trade-off which balances the animals' distress against the potential for meaningful gains in medical or scientific knowledge. At every stage, scientists pursue the principle of the "three Rs" (reduce, refine, replace): the aim is to keep the number of animals as low as possible, to use alternative methods whenever possible, and to minimize pain and suffering to the best of their ability. Read more about this here.

Type of experiments according to severity categories

Severity categories

according to EU Directive 2010/63/EU

Non-recovery:
Procedures which are performed entirely under general anaesthesia from which the animal shall not recover consciousness.

Mild:
Procedures on animals as a result of which the animals are likely to experience short-term mild pain, suffering or distress, as well as procedures with no significant impairment of the well-being or general condition of the animals.

Moderate:
Procedures on animals as a result of which the animals are likely to experience short-term moderate pain, suffering or distress, or long-lasting mild pain, suffering or distress as well as procedures that are likely to cause moderate impairment of the well-being or general condition of the animals.

Severe:
Procedures on animals as a result of which the animals are likely to experience severe pain, suffering or distress, or long-lasting moderate pain, suffering or distress as well as procedures, that are likely to cause severe impairment of the well-being or general condition of the animals.

Full text of EU Directive 2010/63/EU (PDF)

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