Facts & Figures

According to Article 54 (2) of the European Directive 2010/63, each Member State has to collect and make publicly available on an annual basis the statistical information on the use of animals in scientific procedures. The Ministry of Agriculture keeps records of how many animals are used in these procedures in Luxembourg every year. These numbers are sent to the European Commission who includes them in the European statistical reports which are published on their website.

The LCSB is committed to being transparent about our use of animals in scientific research. As part of this commitment, we are auditing and publishing the number of animals used in LCSB’s research on this page.

The numbers of animals involved in completed procedures at the animal facilities on campus Belval are:

2016

  • 1003 mice
  • 17 383 zebrafish
  • 0 rats
  • 0 primates
  • 0 cats
  • 0 dogs

2017

  • 1350 mice
  • 19 487 zebrafish
  • 0 rats
  • 0 primates
  • 0 cats
  • 0 dogs

2018

  • 2049 mice
  • 6728 zebrafish
  • 0 rats
  • 0 primates
  • 0 cats
  • 0 dogs

 

We constantly strive to replace, reduce and refine our use of animals for research. Animals are only used where alternatives are not available, and 'transgenic' (genetically modified) mice have replaced many higher orders of animal as a model for human diseases. No mammals other than rodents are used at the LCSB.

 

   

Mice

Despite advances in non-animal models, transgenic mice often offer the best way to learn about human diseases. Four out of five human genes are also found in mice, making them a good starting point for research into human conditions. Modifying mice genetically to insert or remove genes is a well-established way to discover the function of a specific gene in health and disease. This knowledge is essential to develop new and better treatments.

 

 

   

Zebrafish

Zebrafish are small tropical fish used for studying gene function during embryonic development. 70% of genes implicated in human diseases are found in zebrafish. Their transparent embryos are ideal for drug screening or studying developmental processes. For further information on LCSB’s zebrafish research, please check the website of the Chemical Biology group.

 

 

Other FAQ

Why is animal research necessary?

Research using animals is essential for understanding the biology that underpins health and disease in both humans and other animals. Without such research, we would have few of the modern medicines, antibiotics, vaccines and surgical techniques that we take for granted in both human and veterinary medicine.

Animals are used to investigate fundamental biology, to model disease and to test potential new treatments before they are tested in humans. Animal research is only undertaken where there is no alternative.

What types of animal research does the LCSB carry out?

A part of the projects involving animal research are fundamental research projects. This means that they aim at understanding how humans and animals develop and how our nervous systems and brains work, for example. This knowledge is essential as it will increase our understanding of health and disease in general.

Other work is aimed at tackling specific diseases, for example helping us understand how Parkinson’s disease affects the brain and how it might be treated

Do you test cosmetics on animals?

No. It is not permitted anywhere within the European Union to test cosmetics on animals.

What is a procedure?

A ‘procedure’ is defined in the European Directive as any use, invasive or non-invasive, of an animal for experimental or other scientific purposes, with known or unknown outcome, or educational purposes, which may cause the animal a level of pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm equivalent to, or higher than, that caused by the introduction of a needle in accordance with good veterinary practice.

Procedures can hence be part of animal husbandry within a laboratory, as well as being part of scientific experiments. All experiments involve procedures, but not all procedures are experiments. A procedure can be as mild as an injection, or as severe as an organ transplant. Breeding a genetically modified animal is also classified as a procedure, as genetic changes to the normal appearance or ‘phenotype’ of an animal may cause suffering. In 2016, around 90% of all procedures at the LCSB involved the birth of a genetically modified mouse.