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Non-Technical Project Summary (NTS) - Animal Experiments 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 inform about the purposes of animal experiments, about the intended benefits, and about the harms that might be expected for the animals. 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:

Competent Authorities

NTS for approved projects can be managed and designated for publication by the respective authority in the password-protected area of ??AnimalTestInfo i.e. the “AnimalTestInfo Competent Authority” web application. This requires successful registration and login.

An update for the web application was released on April 9, 2020!

  • The update includes improvements of important editing functions provided to users.
  • The directions for use accompanying the web application explain in detail the update and the improved functions for managing and designating the NTS for publication.

Information on the content of the NTS for projects involving animal testing can be found in the “Guidelines for preparing the Non-Technical Project Summary for animal testing projects” below.

Link to the “AnimalTestInfo Competent Authorities” web application:

Guidelines for Preparing the Non-Technical Project Summary

The BfR has created guidelines for applicants about preparing the NTS. The guidelines provide information on the purpose, form and content of the NTS.

Guidelines for Preparing the Non-Technical Project Summary

Scientific Evaluation of Data in AnimalTestInfo

In AnimalTestInfo, data on projects involving animal experiments are 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 “”:

Schönfelder G., Grune B., Oelgeschläger M., Hensel A. Laboratory animals: German initiative opens up animal data. Nature. 2015 Mar 5;519(7541):33.

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.

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




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