University of Gothenburg

Rules for research on animals

An ethical permit and specific education are required for researchers to work with vertebrates or cephalopods within the EU. These are granted by the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

Training

In order to conduct research on captive animals, or handle animals in the wild for research purposes, Statens jordbruksverks föreskrifter och allmänna råd om försöksdjur (2019:9) requires a person to be trained accordingly. This Laboratory Animal Science (LAS)-education is starting to get streamlined within the EU, and within Sweden, all university students and staff undergo the same training. When you have passed your LAS-education, you are also eligible to apply for your own ethical permit to conduct research on vertebrates.

Application

In order to obtain a permit to perform animal experiments on vertebrates (usually fish) and cephalopods (octopuses) at Kristineberg, an ethical application needs to be written and submitted to an animal welfare committee. Studies on animals that are carried out at Kristineberg Center are validated in the Gothenburg Committee for Animal Ethics.

The application for a permit for an animal experiment costs SEK 15,000. Normally, the work of writing an application is also time consuming, and depending on how advanced the experiment is, can take over a week of full-time work, in addition to meetings with the supervisor and veterinarian for consultation. Prior to the consultation, the application must also be checked, and normally the manager and the responsible veterinarian need to plan this in their schedules. If the application is not approved by the board, this will be postponed to the board's next meeting, one month later. This is not uncommon, and must be considered in your planning. The Gothenburg Committee for Animal Ethics have their meetings to approve applications once per month (but not in July).

Please be advised that the work can not start until the ethical application has been approved. Therefore, plan to submit your application well in advance of the start of your intended experiment, and leave space in your schedule so that you can deal with any revisions the board might require from you. We recommend that you contact Kristineberg Center’s animal manager at least 5 months before arrival at the station.

The application is written and submitted through the Swedish Board of Agriculture's e-service. Since the experimental leader must be linked to the station's activities, the application also needs to be made in dialogue with the laboratory animal manager.

Further info on animal ethics, education and the application process is found here.

We recommend the following schedule:

Five months before arrival:

You have undergone LAS-training. You contact the manager to plan your application. Contact information is available at the top of this page.

Four months before:

You have finished writing a completed application, consultation with the manager and veterinarian takes place and you start to edit it according to their recommendations.

Three months before:

You send your application to the board, within about a week you will be called to a committee meeting where questions about your application from the board's evaluation group are handled. The evaluation group then takes up your application for a vote at the Gothenburg Animal Experiment Ethics Committee.

If your application is rejected or postponed, you have in this situation the opportunity to edit it so that it can be processed again at the next meeting.

One month before the experiment:

You have an answer as to whether or not your application is approved and you can carry out your experiment at the station.

An approved permit is valid for five years. Changes to it can be made by applying to the board again for a lower fee (6,000 SEK).