Responsible animal research

Alongside the use of laboratory studies, cell and tissue culture techniques, computer simulations and human volunteers, animal research is still indispensable for some biological and medical research, and sometimes even required by law.

We only carry out animal studies if alternatives are not possible. Laboratory animals help us to develop fundamental knowledge about the functioning of humans and animals and give us insight into the origin and course of certain diseases. This is essential for developing new treatment methods and determining their effects.

Research on animals only takes place under strict conditions:


  • The research questions cannot be answered by existing scientific literature.
  • Alternatives to animal research are not possible.
  • The Animal Experiments Committee (DEC) and the Central Committee on Animal Testing (CCD) must give their approval for the research.
  • Animal research is based on the 3Rs: replacement, reduction and refinement.
  • Radboud University has a licence to conduct scientific experiments with and to breed laboratory animals. The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) then checks whether the animal experiments are carried out in accordance with the laws and regulations.

Central Animal Laboratory

Animal research at Radboud University and Radboudumc is carried out in the Central Animal Laboratory. More information on why we conduct animal experiments, the principles used, innovations, animal experiment committees and legislation can be found on the website of the Central Animal Laboratory.

Central animal laboratory