Werner Reichardt Centrum für Integrative Neurowissenschaften (CIN)

Animal Research

Opening Statement: The CIN's Stance on Animal Research

The CIN’s researchers and staff are very aware of the great ethical responsibility that is associated with animal experimentation in basic biological and medical research. All of the animal experiments that take place here are carefully checked by the commission for animal experimentation and approved by the competent authorities. There are regular checks to see that all requirements are being complied with. Animals used for experiments are kept with due regard to all of the provisions of animal protection law and international conventions. In scientific experiments on non-human primates, as well as on rodents in many cases, animals are trained to behave in particular ways that promote their health and well-being.

Alternative methods are worthwhile and most welcome, and whenever possible they are implemented and further developed. However, in the current stage of scientific knowledge animal experiments cannot be completely replaced by alternative methods. Non-invasive imaging procedures such as fMRI or fMRT (magnetic resonance tomography) do indeed offer a view into the brain and are an important enhancement of the range of methods in brain research. Nevertheless, the possibilities offered by this technology are greatly over-estimated. Only when imaging procedures are put together with studies that experiment with animals is it possible to gain reliable insight into how the brain functions.

In this section, you can find an Open Letter by CIN chairman Peter Thier, which goes into more detail concerning the CIN's general stance on the difficult topic of animal research. You can also find answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, more of which will be added over time. Some such answers are also provided in our official Brochure on Animal Research, which is available for download in German and English. Take the opportunity to sign our Motion for Solidarity with Nikos Logothetis, whose groundbreaking research in Rhesus macaques has been brought to a halt by threats and abuse from animal rights activists. Finally, we list a few useful external links for you to expand your knowledge about animal research.