Universiteit Leiden

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About Animal Welfare Body Leiden

Team AWB Leiden

Our AWB staff exists of 4 core members, which are an employee, 2 scientific advisors and a chair which is also the mandatory internal animal welfare officer.

During the review of new project licenses, amendments and notifications on existing project licenses, one or more scientist are incorporated. 16 active scientists of LUMC or university Leiden are committed to advise the AWB on our policy and procedures.


AWB Leiden executed the legal and additional tasks for both LUMC and University Leiden. The tasks are mainly based on the Wet op de Dierproeven (Dutch Animal Welfare Act). This assignment can be divided in 4 core tasks:

1. Guidance and advice the new project license process

  • The AWB is the first point of contact for those researchers whom consider animal testing. The AWB Leiden will advise the researcher in their first ethical considerations during the start a new project application which included experiments on animals.s.
  • Throughout the application procedure, both AWB and researcher work closely together to adjust and adapt the application in detail. If necessary, the input of a veterinarian or expert in a different field is requested. During this procedure we check for alternatives for animal testing and incorporate the 3R’s.
  • The AWB Leiden will guide and advice the researchers during the application procedure of a new animal testing project at the Central Authority for Scientific Procedures on Animals (CCD)
  • The AWB animal welfare officer (art13f3a) has an advisory role for the dierexperimentencommissie Leiden (DEC Leiden, animal ethics committee) during their advisory process regarding the new project application towards the CCD.

2. Review of research plans

  • When a project is approved by the CCD a researcher can design specific animal experiments within the project. Therefore a research plan has to be written, this plan will be reviewed and discussed in detail by the AWB. Where possible, the AWB will advise on the implementation of the 3R’s.

3. Inspection on execution and monitoring during animal testing.

  • The AWB’s animal welfare officer (13f3a) will discuss, together with the team and colleagues at the local animal facilities, the internal procedures in order to secure the welfare of laboratory animals.
  • During the projects the AWB will discuss in detail the possibilities to refine and reduce where necessary. This will be done according to visits at the animals facilities, inspections of experiments and the review of the annual statistics of all experiments with animals.

4. Advisory role regarding the execution of experiments on animals.

The AWB Leiden: 

  • Advices colleagues on all subjects regarding experiments on animals , animal welfare during purchase, husbandry, care and use of animals. 
  • Informs colleagues on the latest technical and scientific developments regarding laboratory animal science.
  • Has an advisory role for the animal facilities regarding the policy and procedures around adoption and animal welfare.
  • Advices the license holder (LUMC / university Leiden) about policy, transparency concerning animal testing.
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