Animal research

Swiss institutions commit to transparency in animal research

Creation of a new group to support institutions in their communication with the public

A group of Swiss research institutes have pledged to become more transparent about their use of animals in research, making Switzerland the eighth country in Europe to have adopted such an agreement.

Swiss Universities, an umbrella organization, announced last week that it had created the Swiss Animal Research Transparency Convention for public and private organizations that conduct, support or fund experiments with animals.

Alongside the agreement, Swiss universities have set up a committee to support the signatories in improving their communication with the public on animal research.

The 24 organizations that have so far signed the agreement include the University of Zurich, which is the core member for 2022-23, and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

By signing the agreement, the institutions commit to being transparent, improving their communication and working to provide opportunities for the public to learn about the use of animals in research.

The committee sets goals for signatories each year. For 2022, the objectives are for institutions to publish a policy statement on their website, designate a contact person for information on animal research and produce an annual report on the measures they have taken.

To improve the accessibility of information, institutions have also been instructed to make images and videos of their facilities available and to publish statistics on animal use.

Only Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom have similar agreements in place, according to the European Association for Animal Research.