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Refine: Research on methods to reduce pain or suffering of laboratory animals

Shown below are current Bf3R research projects dedicated to refine and thus reduce suffering and pain of laboratory animals.



Das Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung

Severity assessment from the animal's point of view

In Germany, researchers conducting animal experiments are required to assess the burden that animals may experience in relation to the experimental procedures. An essential part of the approval procedure by the authorities is to examine the researcher's assessment of the severity of the experiment.

Teaserbild Hühner

Stress Detection in Chicken

Assessing stress of animals in experiments is a major challenge. For many mammalian species a so-called "facial expression score" has been developed and validated, where various facial expressions are...

Teaserbild Ziege

Stress Reduction through Training

Training animals to accept or even voluntary participate in experiment related interventions has a great potential to reduce anxiety and stress in laboratory animals. Interventions may be moving the...

Bild zu Tierpersönlichkeiten

Animal Personalities

In physiology and behavior, significant differences can sometimes occur between individuals. The analysis should help to identify limits to the standardizability of animal studies and provide data on the emergence of individual differences, which are important for better transferability of experimental results to humans.

Bild Langeweile: Symptomatik und Linderung - Teaser

Boredom: symptoms and relief

Boredom is an unpleasant emotion that is experienced through forced inactivity or through an activity that is perceived as monotonous or underwhelming. In this project, the Bf3R is identifying strategies for recording and reducing the symptoms of boredom in laboratory animals.

Bild vom Gehirn des Zebrabärblings

Improvement of pain treatment in fish

After rodents, fish represent the largest group of laboratory animals in Germany. In order to minimise the suffering of the animals, the pain perception of fish is being researched.

Bild vom Gehirn des Zebrabärblings

Promoting transparency to avoid animal experiments


The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has become one of the first signatories to the German Transparency Agreement, a joint project from the Permanent Senate Commission on Animal Protection and Experimentation at the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Understanding Animal Research initiative (“Tierversuche verstehen”) from the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany


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