The Animal Welfare Officer of Göttingen University
Tasks of the Animal Welfare Officer
The tasks of Animal Welfare Officers are set forth in Section 8b of the German Animal Welfare Act (TierSchG). Animal Welfare Officers are required to:
- ensure compliance with the regulations, requirements and provisos relating to animal welfare,
- advise the institution and the persons involved in animal experiments and the keeping of experimental animals,
- issue a statement on every application for authorisation of an animal experiment and, not least,
- take influence on the development and introduction of procedures and means within the institution to avoid or restrict experiments on animals.
Therein, Animal Welfare Officers are made responsible for self-monitoring within the institution and are not to be bound by any instructions in the discharge of their duties. They are liaisons between animal welfare and animal experiments, between the authorities and the scientific institution, between statutory regulations and researchers working with animal experiments, guiding staff and faculty at their institutions to act in a manner commensurate with the welfare and protection of animals.
That way, Animal Welfare Officers by virtue of their knowledge and experience within the institution, can prevent violations against the German Animal Welfare Act (TierSchG) arising from a lack of knowledge, lack of sensitivity or from avoidable emergency situations. Therefore, the scientific institution has a vested interest in taking self-monitoring seriously and supporting it from an institutional perspective
The Animal Welfare Officer’s role within the application process
The initial experimental protocol draft should be discussed with the Animal Welfare Officer early on. This is particularly true whenever a third-party funding grant application is planned. To access the declaration stating whether the animal experiment project planned is subject to mandatory authorisation, reporting and notification requirements,click here.
In the initial consultation talks, the experimental approach is discussed in terms of its indispensability, choice of method, experimental conduct, experimental protocol, timeline, available staff and the related technical competence (you can find the link to the information leaflet on the technical competence required by LAVES by clicking here). The leaflet also lists the conditions for the keeping of experimental animals. The envisioned number of animals should be computed with the help of a biostatistician or on one's own using statistical power analyses software, e.g. G*Power (for link to free download incl. explanations, click here).
In the next step, you can complete the appropriate application forms. You will find the link in the right column under INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTS; clicking on the second item “Forms” takes you to “Forms LAVES Lower Saxony”. Please email these forms to the Animal Welfare Officer of Göttingen University (firstname.lastname@example.org). The internal procedure for processing animal experiment projects subject to mandatory authorisation and reporting requirements is described exactly under INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTS in the column to your right. Access the site by clicking on the first entry in the list “Submitting application forms”.
Please send all correspondence with LAVES via the Animal Welfare Officer (Contact data, lower right). Please copy the Animal Welfare Officer on all email correspondence by entering in the CC line:email@example.com.