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AnimalTestInfo – Database on animal experimentation projects in Germany

Non-Technical Project Summary for Animal Experiments Provide an Overview

Since the third amendment of the Animal Welfare Act and the Animal Laboratory Animal Ordinance came into force in 2013, a non-technical project summary (NTS) must be included with every application for approval of a project involving an animal experiment. The BfR publishes the NTS online in the AnimalTestInfo database to keep the general public informed about animal experiments.

NTS reveal information about the purposes of animal experiments, about the intended benefits, and about the injuries and stress that might be expected for the animals used. NTS contain information on the number and species of animals (mice, rats, etc.) intended to be used, as well as all measures adopted to avoid the use of animals in advance (Replacement), or to reduce their numbers in the experiment (Reduction), or to improve their well-being (Refinement).

AnimalTestInfo database

After approval of a project involving animal experiments, the competent authority designates the associated NTS for publication. The BfR publishes these NTS online in AnimalTestInfo within twelve months. As a general rule, NTS are published three months after receipt.

The link to the database: https://www.animaltestinfo.de/

Scientific Evaluation of Data in AnimalTestInfo

In AnimalTestInfo, data on projects involving animal experiments is listed in a structured way within the data fields of the NTS. This structure enables targeted searches for data as well as systematic retrieval of the NTS contents.

For this purpose, scientists at the BfR have classified NTS contents in a pilot project using data from the years 2014 and 2015. The intended benefits of projects were classified with the code of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The ICD is a classification system for human medical diagnoses and is acknowledged worldwide. The assignment of NTS to ICD codes enables a very precise analysis of scientific objectives of projects.

Publication on the pilot project establishing a public database on animal testing projects “www.animaltestinfo.de”:

Schönfelder G., Grune B., Oelgeschläger M., Hensel A. Laboratory animals: German initiative opens up animal data. Nature. 2015 Mar 5;519(7541):33. https://www.nature.com/articles/519033d

The results of the pilot project with assignment of ICD codes were published in December 2017:

Bert B, Doerendahl A, Leich N, Vietze J, Steinfath M, Chmielewska J, Andreas Hensel, Barbara Grune, Gilbert Schoenfelder (2017) Rethinking 3R strategies: Digging deeper into AnimalTestInfo promotes transparency in in vivo biomedical research. PLoS Biol 15(12): e2003217. http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2003217

The project is ongoing. The latest analyses and evaluations of NTS will be reported here.

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