Complete | September 2021

Animal Use in Swiss Education

Goal: Changing Mindsets
Mandate: Education, Monitoring

A Perspective from Swiss HEIs in 2018

According to a survey the 3RCC conducted at its 11 member universities (Project 19_03), a total of 6,925 animals were used in education in 2018. Mice were the most frequently used animal at 41%, followed by other rodents at 16%. These animals were primarily used in graduate and postgraduate training courses, the fields of veterinary medicine and general biology each accounted for approximately a quarter. About a quarter of animals used were farm animals used in veterinary training. About 6% of animals experienced no harm, while the remaining animals underwent procedures of mild severity. Universities are aware of the importance of 3Rs aspects in education and training. The main obstacles for the use of non-animal alternatives in education and training include a lack of alternatives, a lack of knowledge of their existence, a lack of teaching experience with such alternatives, and financial reasons.