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Reaction to Animal Rights

11 January 2018

In response to the press release on an animal experiment with wild birds, the University of Groningen says the following. The aim of the UG is to hold as few animal experiments as possible, and where possible not to use laboratory or other animals at all. We limit the suffering of the animals as much as possible. Teaching and research at the UG revolves around the replacement, reduction and refinement of animal experiments.

In accordance with the Animal Experiments Act ( Wet op de Dierproeven – WOD), the local Animal Welfare Body (IVD) must be notified of all experiments. The Animal Care and Use Committee (DEC) then issues recommendations on the experiment to the Central Committee for Animal Experiments (CCD) . If the CCD approves the experiment, it grants the University a licence for the project. The animal experiment to which Animal Rights refers also followed this procedure. It was assessed and evaluated by the CCD. Ethical considerations formed an important aspect of this procedure. After careful consideration of all the criteria, the CCD issued a licence.

The research is being conducted within the framework of scientific sleep research and makes an important contribution. Although humans and animals spend a large part of their lives asleep, the reason for this is still not completely understood. Animal experiments are an unmissable part of learning more about the importance of sleep. Research thus far has been conducted on nocturnal animals, such as mice and rats. The UG researchers want to use birds not only because they are active during the day, just like people, but also because not much is known about sleep in birds. Studies from colleague researchers abroad have revealed that some species of birds in the wild can virtually do without sleep for weeks at a time, mainly because they are so busy searching for food or with breeding. It is a complete mystery how they do this when people with sleeping problems function less well after just a single night. Birds are thus the ideal animal group to confirm old insights about sleep or generate new ones.

Last modified:23 January 2018 10.52 a.m.
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