Institutional statement on the use of research animals

The Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) has joined the agreement on Openness on Animal Research, promoted from the Federation of Scientific Societies in Spain (COSCE), with the collaboration of the European Association of Research Animals (EARA), and launched on 20 September 2016.

We are convinced that animal experimentation plays a fundamental role in the discovery of the underlying biological mechanisms of disease, and in the development of medical treatments. Without research on animals, we would not have most of the medicines, antibiotics, vaccines and surgical techniques that are applied nowadays in human and veterinary medicine.

An important part of the research undertaken at the IGTP aims to contribute to the improvement of human health and wellbeing and is carried out thanks to the use of animals, for example research into cardiac surgery, infectious diseases, neurological diseases, cancer and many others.

The welfare of animals used for research purposes is of paramount relevance for the IGTP as is the strict compliance with and respect for the current legislation on the protection of animals used in research and for other scientific purposes, including education. Our aim is to achieve the highest standards in animal welfare, not only from the point of view of our moral responsibility for them, but also because we are convinced we could not achieve research excellence without proper animal welfare. Our experiments with animals follow the legal standard and are assessed by an Ethics Committee on Animal Experimentation that promotes the use of alternative methods, the reduction in the number of animals used and the refinement in the experimental protocols applied. Not a single research project requiring the use of animals could start without the appropriate and required Ethics assessment and the eventual authorization from the competent authorities.

The IGTP also ensures that the personnel involved in animal care and researchers have the adequate education and training and the required professional skills, and that all resources are provided to properly keep research animals in terms of facilities, husbandry, wellbeing and veterinary care.