Animal Research at Novartis
Novartis is committed to transparent reporting of the numbers of animals needed for research and developmentthe discovery and study of molecules and chemical compounds to find out if they are safe and effective for treating specific diseases. purposes.
At Novartis, 80% of the animals used in 2013 were mice and rats. Only 2% of the total animals involved were animals such as sheep, dogs, cattle, horses, non-human primates, pigs, cats, rabbits, poultry, lizards or ferrets. The remainder were species such as fish, guinea pigs, gerbils and hamsters.
An issue of particular ethical concern is the use of non-human primatesanimals such as monkeys. Novartis policy states that we will not use great apes unless required or recommended by regulatory bodies or where necessary to answer a biomedically relevant scientific question – and then only when no alternative is available. In these rare cases, such experiments must be supported by the Global Animal Welfare Committee and subsequently approved by the Corporate Animal Welfare Officer in consultation with the Chairman and the CEO of Novartis.
Origins of animals
Only animals especially bred for research purposes (with the exception of certain farm animals and fish) are used in Novartis research. Use of strays or other animals is not accepted.
Laboratory animals are obtained from approved vendors who have shown that their standards meet the Novartis Global Animal Welfare Standards. In many cases these vendors are also inspected by governmental regulatory agencies, as well as Novartis Animal Welfare Officers.
Where no official breeders exist for farm animals and fish, Novartis obtains the animals from selected agricultural farms and fisheries as permitted by global and national laws.