Animal Welfare at Novartis
The welfare of animals in our care is of primary concern to us for reasons of ethics, accuracy, reliability and applicability of scientific studies. Good animal welfare is a prerequisite for good science because reducing the stress levels in animals improves the quality of our scientific results. Novartis is committed to globally achieving high standards of animal welfare whenever animals are involved in research at Novartis.
We have an Animal Welfare Policy and a set of Animal Welfare Standards that define key principles, responsibilities and explicit requirements governing animal research.
We strictly adhere to international conventions (such as the EC Directive 86/609the 1986 European Union law regarding the protection of animals used for research and other scientific purposes. and the USDA Animal Welfare Act) and Health Authority regulations and guidelines in all of the countries where we operate.
In 2005, the Novartis Animal Welfare Policy was approved by the Novartis Group Executive Committee. This policy sets out the key principles, requirements and responsibilities relating to animal welfare in Novartis-sponsored animal studies. It states that:
- all animals must be treated humanely;
- all animals must be cared for in accordance with the particular needs of the species;
- and it reaffirms our commitment to the 3Rs (Reduction, Refinement, Replacement)
Novartis takes any animal misconduct seriously. Animal mishandling is reported to the Business Practice Office and cases of misconduct can lead to severe disciplinary action including and up to termination of the job.
To ensure that the animal welfare skills of our researchers remain state-of-the-art, Novartis offers a broad set of training programs, including:
- anesthesia medicines that block sensation so no pain is felt.
- analgesia medicines to reduce pain, also known as painkillers. and surgical techniques
- ethical training
Our animal welfare officers and researchers are dedicated to the care and well-being of the animals needed for research at all times.
The 3Rs mean that we are committed to continuously:
- reducing the number of animals used in studies;
- refining study methods;
- replacing animal studies with new methods.
Find out more about how these principles are put into practice by clicking on the wheel below.
Novartis fully supports the use of alternatives to animal research wherever feasible. Scientists at Novartis are urged to search for alternative ways to carry out studies before performing animal research. To help achieve this, Novartis adheres to the principles of the 3Rs.
To further encourage implementation of the 3Rs, an in-house award has been created which is annually given to the best proposal for practical implementation of the principles of the 3Rs. This encourages Novartis employees to look for ways to practice the 3Rs globally and for new ideas to reduce the number of animals used in our studies.