Institutional statement on the use of research animals
The Center for Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa 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 developing of medical treatments. Without research in 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 CBMSO aims at contributing to the improvement of human health and wellbeing and is carried out thanks to the use of animals, in the following areas of research: Cell Biology and Immunology, Virology and Microbiology, Development and Regeneration, Molecular Neuropathology and Genome Dynamics and Function.
The welfare of animals used for research purposes is of paramount relevance for the CBMSO, and also the strict compliance and respect to 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 on 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 Center for Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa also ensures that the personnel involved in animal care and researchers do 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.
The Centro de Molecular Biología Severo Ochoa has participated in some initiatives that of transparency in animal experimentation as the production of the video-documentary "Inside the cell", the organization and presentation of specific seminars of training in the management of experimental animals, and the participation of researchers from the Center in several outreach programs for RTVE. Also, the summary of the projects that are carried out in the CBMSO that use animals and their purpose can be consulted by anyone interested in the website of the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.