scientists from the German cancer research center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg have in Tests with mice, not correct behavior. Animal rights activists accuse them of animal cruelty – the case has triggered renewed discussions about the meaning of animal experiments.

The trigger for the dispute was a trial with mice, the effectiveness of a viral therapy in Ewing’s sarcoma, a malignant cancer that occurs more frequently in children. After the publication of a study in the summer of last year, animal rights activists showed the responsible Doctor at the Prosecutor’s office in Heidelberg for violating the animal protection act.

According to the Association “Doctors against animal experiments” has been entered into the Experiment, the mice of tumors in agony, without a motion on the approval. The Heidelberg project was illegal. “Because the control system has failed completely,” said club Vice-Corina Gericke.

MORE on THE TOPIC of researchers, We report do animal testing!

The DKFZ accepts that, the researchers coated the specified trial time frame from five years to six weeks, a different tumor cell line as originally planned, used and some mice to late to have put to sleep. To tumors but died not a single animal. The approval authority, the Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe, now checks whether the approval granted is forfeited.

researchers believe that animal testing in many areas is essential

The Prosecutor’s office to determine whether it is in the failings of a criminal Offence or a misdemeanour. The case frustrated the researchers.

Andreas Trumpp, head of the Heidelberg Institute for stem cell technology and Experimental medicine (HI-STEM) at DKFZ, holds that animal testing is essential. Who claims to the contrary, mocking millions of patients, which would have helped on animals proven drugs. To give the mice and rats at the DKFZ there is no Alternative.

activist Gericke is of a different opinion: it considers multi-organ-chip for the research base of the future. The are made from human stem cells grown mini organs, which are associated with a type of circulatory system. To them, drugs were a better test than in experiment on an animal, she explains. A Plan to phase out animal experiments, such as give it to him already in the Netherlands, do also in Germany not.

The Netherlands strive for on the Basis of an evaluation by a Committee of experts, by 2025, no more animals in standardized toxicity tests. In other areas, such as basic research, but also the Dutch experts on a short-term end of animal testing is unrealistic.

The DKFZ is responding to the recent development with additional compulsory courses to animal testing for the already in a week-long introduction to qualified scientists. And with a software solution that proposes at risk of Exceeding of time-limits Alarm.

In Germany, have been killed in 2017 740,000 animals for scientific purposes. Well, two million animals were used in animal trials. The total number of experimental animals is, according to a report by the German Federal Ministry for food and agriculture at about 2.8 million. Mice make up about half of the test animals.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.