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“In animal experiments, the burden on the laboratory animals must be limited to the absolute minimum. Due to legal regulations at both European and national level, the specific termination criteria must be specified as part of the application procedure for animal experiments and a "Score Sheet" must be attached.” is stated in the new guide regarding the score sheets used in animal experiments.

To achieve this goal, the selected representatives of the animal facilities and animal welfare officers (Dr. Philip Dammann, Prof. Dr. Gero Hilken, Dr. Matthias Schmidt, Prof. Dr. René Tolba, Dr. Maureen Walberer) formed a task force "NRW - Animal Welfare Officers". The task force has recently completed a recommendation on score sheets used to assess the experimental burden on individual laboratory animals. The work has been undertaken in 2023 within knowledge and feedback of the local approval authority LANUV - Landesamt für Natur, Umwelt und VerbraucherschutzNordrhein-Westfalen (State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection North Rhine-Westphalia in English) from preparation until publication. But the possibility to demand further necessary and application-specific clarification aspects pertains to the approval authority.

The new reference is composed of eight sections giving background information, target groups, important definitions(burden, degree of burden, current burden assessment, humane endpoint, termination of experiment), aims, benefits and limits, content, and considerations about score sheets. It is comprehensive and intended as a guide for applicants and animal welfare officers when preparing and using score sheets as part of the application procedure for animal experiments.

To read the full recommendation (for now available only in German), you can visit the page HERE