Launch of the initiative “Transparent Animal Testing”

July 01, 2021
The Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology is among the first institutes to sign the initiative of the DFG and Tierversuche Verstehen for transparent information and open communication about animal experiments in research.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the information platform Tierversuche Verstehen  (Understanding Animal Testing), supported by the Alliance of Science Organizations, are launching the initiative "Transparent Animal Testing" today, Thursday, July 1, 2021. In this agreement, life science research institutions declare that they will provide transparent information about animal experiments, actively participate in shaping the public dialogue about research involving animal experiments, and exchange experiences and publicize activities among the participating institutions. The Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology is one of the 53 initial institutions to sign the initiative, along with other universities, hospitals, non-university research institutions, research companies, professional societies and funding organizations.

The initiative set up a website to list all signing institutions, to offer examples of successful communication on animal experimentation, and to provide information on implementing the stated goals. The initiative follows similar activities in other European countries, such as the UK, France and Spain.

In line with the initiative, the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology has also expanded its range of information on animal experiments in research or the public. The new website "Animal Experiments in Research" contains information on the animal species used in institute research, the research projects that use animal experiments, efforts to replace animal testing, and the latest figures and statistics on animal experiments. The information offered will be continuously expanded.

The initiative “Transparent Animal Testing” joins various communication activities worldwide on July 1. The occasion is the international "Be Open about Animal Research Day" organized by the European Animal Research Association (EARA), a day of action to share examples of openness and transparency in animal research. The accompanying social media campaign can be found under the hashtag #BOARD21.

In biomedical research, animal experiments represent an important component of the experimental method spectrum. Research with animals has been and still is essential for fundamental findings and medically relevant developments. Although recent methodological research has contributed to the fact that animal experiments can be replaced or reduced in scope by alternative methods in some experimental approaches, animal experiments cannot yet be completely replaced. In the future, these experiments will still be needed to gain knowledge and to develop new therapeutic approaches and methods.

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