Animal testing is defined as any use of animals for a scientific or educational purpose, where there is assumed to be inflicted pain, suffering, anxiety or permanent damage to the animal, which is equivalent or stronger than what an injection with a needle - performed according to veterinary practices - would cause. The use of animals in experiments is only allowed after obtaining a permit from the Animal Experiments Inspectorate.
The majority of animal testing in Denmark is used to develop and test medicine for humans. The authorities require that all medicine is tested on animals before being administered to humans, to ensure that humans do not get sick from the new medicine. Animal testing is also used to develop new medicine for animals or to educate doctors and veterinarians in e.g. surgery.
Who can perform animal testing in Denmark?
To carry out experiments using animals in Denmark, a special training is required. If you want to obtain a permit to perform animal testing, you need to have a relevant college degree and have passed a course in animal testing. To obtain the permit to perform a test on an animal, one must submit an application to Animal Experiments Inspectorate, who subsequently determine if the experiment provides significant knowledge, justifying to expose the animal for the experiment.
It is not allowed to use animals for experiments, if it is possible to study it without the use of laboratory animals, e.g. by using artificial human tissue, organs or a computer model. If possible, one should therefore replace the use of laboratory animals as well as reduce the amount of animals used. One should also refine the methods used, to be as gentle as possible for the animals.
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