Legal frame of animal experimentation


Within academic institution, animal experimentation is strictly framed 

Swiss legislation requires different functions to be attributed within each lemanic academic institution

  • Director of animal experimentation (DEA): responsible of all licences; in charge of verifying that all used procedures and experimental infrastructures fulfill legal recquirements and respect animal welfare; advise researchers on up-to-date procedures
  • Director of experiment :  responsible of welfare and follow-up of all experimented animals; in charge of scientific project and experimental design, owner of a licence 
  • Experimenter: responsible of welfare and follow-up of all experimented animals; in charge of executing the experiments
  • Animal facility manager: responsible of housing conditions and housed animals ; in charge of verifying that all infrastructures and working procedures respect animal welfare and legal requirements
  • Veterinarian: responsible of health monitoring and welfare; in charge of advising experimenters or directors of experiments on appropriate and up-to date procedures
  • Animal caretaker: responsible of daily cares and welfare of housed animals; in charge of cleaning and feeding animals and of some procedures in collaboration with experimenters and veterinarian 
  • Animal welfare body (AWB) or Animal welfare officer (AWO): responsible of 3R principle application and animal welfare respect; in charge of advising researchers on possible alternatives and best up-to-date methodology

Checks carried out by veterinarian authorities 

Both cantonal and federal authorities do checking

  • Cantonal Veterinarian office:  cantonal veterinarian is responsible of legislation application; is in charge of delivering licences and controlling experiments and animal facilities; receive from cantonal committee refusal or acceptance about authorization requests, and make the final decision; cantonal veterinarian may have a delegate 
  • Cantonal committee for animal experimentation (CCEA) ; representatives, including an ethician and a veterinarian, are members of animal protection associations, veterinarian association, academic institutions and private companies; receive and read authorization requests, check procedures, methodology and balance of interest; decide for refusal or acceptance and transmit decision to cantonal veterinarian or delegate; check experiments and animal facilities
  • Federal office for health and veterinarian affairs ; responsible of public health issues, food safety, animal protection, animal health and animal import/export; in charge of writing laws and ordinances, or updating existing ones; write guidelines on procedures, can appeal against cantonal decision
  • Federal veterinarian committee ; representatives of academic institution, of cantonal veterinarian institution, of private companies; advise FSVO on animal experimentation issues


CHUV-Epalinges - CLEB 01 101 - Av. des Boveresses 155 - CH-1011 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 314 68 16
Fax +41 21 314 67 03
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG) Ludwig Cancer Research Université de Genève Université de Lausanne École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)