Faculty of Agriculture Explains Animal Testing to StudentsTo mark World Day for Laboratory Animals, the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Bonn ran a fact-finding event on animal testing for its students.
The faculty’s animal welfare officer, Dr. Stephanie Hiss-Pesch, gave around 40 students and colleagues an introduction to the topic, explaining what animal testing actually involves, what purposes it serves and what criteria and requirements have to be met for it to be allowed. To provide some examples, two researchers from the faculty introduced a number of experiments on calves and chickens that are currently being conducted at the University.
Feedback on the event was universally positive. It is set to be repeated, probably with an even wider scope as well. Taking stock of the event, its organizer Dr. Hiss-Pesch had this to say: "With this fact-finding event, we wanted to make a start and do something proactive. And we did. It may well inspire other faculties to run similar ones of their own." Even as early as the preparation stage, Jenny Stracke, a livestock ethologist at the Institute of Animal Sciences, had realized there was a lot that members of the University did not know and that was not covered by study of or research into the topic. "Making information available and ensuring greater transparency were the main motives for arranging this day," says Dr. Inga Tiemann. As a research associate at the Institute of Agricultural Engineering on the Frankenforst Campus, she is involved in poultry welfare.
The University of Bonn became a founder member of the "Transparent Animal Testing" initiative in 2021. Together with around 50 other research institutions, the University of Excellence undertakes to provide transparent information about animal testing, play an active role in helping to shape the public debate surrounding animal experiments, share experiences and communicate details of its activities.
The University of Bonn has also been part of the 3R Competence Network in North Rhine-Westphalia since 2022, in which universities commit to upholding the "3Rs principle". The aim is to strike a balance between advances in medicine and the highest possible standards of animal welfare through three strategies: Replace, Reduce and Refine. The network’s office is based at the dean’s office in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bonn.