Animal welfare and good research go hand in hand
Although the list of methods replacing animals in experimental research is constantly growing, for some scientific questions the use of animal models is still necessary. Especially for the understanding of multifactorial diseases like autoimmune disorders, in which different organs and cell types are involved, the complexity of a living organism is required.
Therefore, the DRFZ runs a state of the art animal facility. This facility is divided into an experimental area in Berlin-Mitte and a separate breeding area in Berlin-Marienfelde, where numerous mouse strains are kept. Trained animal caretakers and veterinarians ensure best husbandry conditions and a seamless monitoring of the animals in favor of animal welfare.
All mice are bred and held under so called SPF (specific pathogen free) conditions to ensure that animals are free from pathogens that could interfere with animal experimental studies. For this purpose, the facility is equipped with personnel airlocks, and all material is thoroughly autoclaved before entering the facility. Moreover, mice undergo a microbiological check-up on a regular basis in order to detect potentially pathogenic microorganisms.
As a part of the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft the DRFZ intends to communicate openly about animal experiments. Scientists working with mice at the DRFZ put the principles of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) into practice to minimize suffering and improve animal welfare.
The DRFZ provides a training program on animal experimental work according to EU and German animal welfare legislation, consisting of a theoretical and practical part. Successful participation is officially certified.