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Eight Questions and Answers About Animal Experiments at Ruhr University

On this website, you can find answers to the eight most frequently asked questions about animal experiments at Ruhr University.

Does animal testing take place at Ruhr University?

Yes. Testing is conducted at Ruhr University on various test animals, above all rodents, as part of biomedical research. Test animals are also used to train students in medicine and in life sciences.

What kinds of test animals are used?

They are almost exclusively mice and rats.

How many animals are used as test animals per year?

Detailed figures can be found on a dedicated subpage.

What tests are carried out?

Rodents are used in various animal experimentation projects within fundamental and applied research. It is not possible to list them here in detail.

This includes researching the functioning of the brain and the immune defence mechanism or treating viral infections, tumours and diseases of the nervous system (such as Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis).

Who approves and oversees testing?

All animal testing in Germany is subject to a strict legally governed approval process, which is set down in the animal protection law and in the animal protection test animals regulation.

Approvals in North Rhine-Westphalia are exclusively granted by the State Office for Nature, the Environment and Consumer Protection, which, together with the municipal veterinary inspection office, is responsible for overseeing both the experiments themselves and the keeping and breeding of test animals.

The animal welfare officer and the animal welfare board of RUB oversee the observance of all legal provisions and approval requirements.

Animal testing is regularly inspected by the communal or district veterinary inspection offices.

Why is testing with animals necessary at Ruhr University?

Experiments on vertebrates are conducted for various purposes, which are legally defined. Every single experimentation project is assessed in terms of its indispensability by an independent expert committee, which includes representatives of animal welfare associations.

Experimentation projects for which alternatives without animal testing are available are fundamentally not approved. Approvals are only granted if the necessity of the project is scientifically confirmed and the project is ethically justifiable. In addition, it must be ensured that experiment-related stress is reduced to an unavoidable minimum for the test animals.

Are the animals killed as part of the testing?

Over half of the test animals used at Ruhr University are killed for research purposes to remove tissue or organs, which, for instance, are required to create cell cultures. This happens without interventions being conducted on the animal beforehand.

If animals are killed at the end of testing, such as because post mortem examinations need to take place, this is expressly stated in the test approval. In certain experimentation projects, the killing of the animals at the end of testing is also required by law.

Does testing still take place using primates at Ruhr University?

No, testing on primates ended in spring 2012.

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Animal Experiments
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