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Animals in Research

Switzerland is at the cutting edge of innovation and development, particularly thanks to high-quality research projects conducted at the country's universities.

To help them address these scientific questions, researchers have recourse to a variety of models, which may be in silico (computer-based models), in vitro (cell cultures), or in vivo (animals). Preference is given to in silico and in vitro models where possible, but recourse to animal models may still be necessary in some cases.

With this in mind, swissuniversities actively promotes respectful and responsible treatment of animals in the context of in vivo experiments, and its members undertake to comply with strict framework conditions.

In the vote on the popular initiative «Yes to the ban on animal and human experiments – Yes to research that brings safety and progress» on 13th of February 2022, the Swiss electorate reaffirmed its support for responsible research at universities in Switzerland. To support the institutions concerned in their efforts toward greater transparency and dialogue with the public on use of animals in research, swissuniversities has set up the STAAR Commission (Swiss Transparency Agreement on Animal Research).

With a view to supporting specific measures in this area, swissuniversities has appointed an animal experimentation delegate and set up the Swiss Animal Facilities Network – SAFN. SAFN’s mission is to coordinate current and future activities at the animal facilities run by Swiss universities, particularly in relation to rodents.

The network also published factsheets on various topics in the field of research and animal experimentation in Switzerland:



swissuniversities policy for animal research


STAAR 2022 Annual Report

2020 Statistics on Animal Experimentation

SAFN facilities management during COVID-19 lockdown


Prise de position de swissuniversities sur la révision d'ordonnances dans le domaine de la protection des animaux (French)

swissuniversities warns of a medicine and research ban

Vernehmlassung zur Änderung von Verordnungen im Veterinärbereich (French)

Stellungnahme von swissuniversities zur Initiative für ein Tier- und Menschenversuchsverbot (German, French, Italian)