Policy concerning the care and use of live animals



Both institutes acknowledge and accept responsibility for the care and use of live animals involved in all research, research training, and biological testing activities. As fulfillment of this responsibility the institutes make a reasonable effort to ensure that all individuals involved in the care and use of laboratory animals understand their individual and collective responsibilities for compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies pertaining to animal care and use.





Basic principles


1)        The advancement of biological knowledge and the development of improved means for the protection of the health and well-being both of man and of animals require recourse to experimentation on intact live animals of a wide variety of species.


2)         Methods such as mathematical models, computer simulation and in vitro biological systems are used wherever appropriate.


3)        Animal experiments will be undertaken only after due consideration of their relevance for human or animal health and the advancement of biological knowledge.


4)        The animals selected for an experiment are of an appropriate species and quality, and the minimum number required to obtain scientifically valid results.


5)         Investigators and other personnel treat animals as sentient, and regard their proper care and use and the avoidance or minimization of discomfort, distress, or pain as ethical imperatives.


6)         Investigators assume that procedures that would cause pain in human beings cause pain in other vertebrate species, although more needs to be known about the perception of pain in animals.


7)         Procedures with animals that may cause more than momentary or minimal pain or distress will be performed with appropriate sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia in accordance with accepted veterinary practice. Surgical or other painful procedures will not be performed on unanesthetized animals paralysed by chemical agents.


8)         Where waivers are required in relation to the provisions of article VII, the decisions do not rest solely with the investigators directly concerned but will be made, with due regard to the provisions of articles IV, V, and VI, by a suitably constituted review body. Such waivers will not be made solely for the purposes of teaching or demonstration.


9)         At the end of, or, when appropriate, during an experiment, animals that would otherwise suffer severe or chronic pain, distress, discomfort, or disablement that cannot be relieved will be painlessly killed.


10)     The best possible living conditions will be maintained for animals kept for biomedical purposes. The care of animals is under the supervision of a veterinarian having experience in laboratory animal science. In any case, veterinary care is available as required.


11)    It is the responsibility of the director of IMP resp IMBA that investigators and personnel have appropriate qualifications or experience for conducting procedures on animals. Adequate opportunities are provided for in-service training, including the proper and humane concern for the animals under their care.





Governing laws, regulations and policies


1. National and EU regulations


A.) Governing Austrian law:


·         Bundesgesetz über Versuche an lebenden Tieren (Tierversuchsgesetz 2012 – TVG 2012)


·         Bundesgesetz, mit dem das Arzneimittelgesetz, das Biozid-Produkte-Gesetz, das Futtermittelgesetz 1999 sowie das Gentechnikgesetz geändert werden und das Tierversuchsgesetz 2012 erlassen wird (Tierversuchsrechtsänderungsgesetz – TVRÄG)


·         Verordnung des Bundesministers für Wissenschaft und Forschung zur Durchführung des Tierversuchsgesetzes 2012 (Tierversuchs-Verordnung 2012 – TVV 2012)


·         Gentechnikgesetz GTG, BGBl. Nr. 510/1994


·         Verordnung des Bundesministers für wirtschaftliche Angelegenheiten über die Berufsausbildung im Lehrberuf Tierpfleger (Tierpfleger-Ausbildungsordnung), BGBl. II Nr. 64/1997


·         Tierseuchengesetz (TSG) RGBl. Nr.177, betreffend die Abwehr und Tilgung von Tierseuchen


B.) International (European) Guidelines:




C.) Recommendations and Regulations of the “Society for Laboratory Animal Science - GV-SOLAS” and of the “Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations – FELASA”








Animal welfare, care and accommodation

As of January 1st, 2013 Austria implemented completely the DIRECTIVE 2010/63/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 22 September 2010 by setting into effect the Austrian Laboratory Animal Act TVG 2012. Therefore both institutes carry out scientific work involving the use of life animals strictly in accordance with the EU Directive mentioned above.


Housing and care of animals as well as carrying out procedures in live animals will be done based on valid permissions only. The main principle of Austrian Laboratory Animal Act is the protection of animals and the application of the 3R-principle (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement: William M.S. Russel, / Rex L. Burch “The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique” 1959). Therefore only procedures in live animals, which meet these requirements will be permitted. Laboratory animal facilities and the conduction of laboratory animal experiments are subject to continous controls and inspections by competent authorities.


The experiments and housing of the animals will be done under the supervision of experienced animal technicians and veterinary staff, who will assess daily the health status, the level of pain and distress in the animals. If necessary, appropriate pain treatment will be administered. In case treatment will not improve the situation of the animal (pain, distress and suffering cannot be alleviated adequately), animals will be euthanized by using humane methods according to FELASA guidelines “Recommendations for euthanasia of experimental animals”, part 1+2.


According to Austrian Laboratory Animal Act an institutional animal-welfare body was set up including at least the person (or persons) responsible for the welfare and care of the animals and scientific members. The animal-welfare body receives input from the designated veterinarian. The IMP IMBA animal-welfare body carries out the following tasks:


- advise the staff dealing with animals on matters related to the welfare of animals, in relation to their acquisition, accommodation, care and use;


- advise the staff on the application of the requirement of replacement, reduction and refinement, and keep it informed of technical and scientific developments concerning the application of that requirement;


- establish and review internal operational processes as regards monitoring, reporting and follow-up in relation to the welfare of animals housed or used in the establishment;


- follow the development and outcome of projects, taking into account the effect on the animals used, and identify and advise as regards elements that further contribute to replacement, reduction and refinement; and


- The records of any advice given by the animal-welfare body and decisions taken regarding that advice are kept for at least 3 years. The records are subject to inspections and are made available to the competent authority upon request.