Directive setting the conditions for animal research carried out abroad

  • Réf. 0295
  • Date de publication : 22/01/2016

Table of contents

This directive  sets  the  conditions  foranimal researchcarried  out  abroad  by  University  of  Geneva researchers  or  by  third  parties incollaboration  with  the  University  of  Geneva. “Collaboration” is intended as an agreement under which University of Geneva researchers would have author or joint author status of apotential publication based on said collaboration.

The  University  of  Geneva  requires  that  experiments involvinganimals carried  out  in  Switzerland  or abroad comply withrelevant ethicalprinciples to ensure responsible and ethical animal researchthat fully takes into account animal suffering and wellbeing.

These  ethicalprinciples  are  founded  on  the “Rectors’ Conference of  the  Swiss  Universities  (CRUS)Policy forAnimal Research”and  on  the “EthicalPrinciples  and Guidelines for  Experiments  on Animals” jointly  elaborated  by  the  Swiss  Academy  of  Medical  Sciences  (SAMS)  and  the  Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT).

In some instances outlined in the present directive, animal researchprojects carried out abroad must be submitted to the Interfaculty Committeefor Animal Research Ethics.

Experiments  carried  out  in  Switzerland  are  supervised  by  therelevantcantonalanimal  researchcommission, as well as by competent cantonal and federal authorities.

The Study Directorat the University of Geneva shall ensure that animal researchcarried out abroad fullycomplies withrelevant ethical principles. In the cases outlinedin the present directive, the Study Director  submits  to the  Interfaculty Committee  for Animal Research  Ethics the research projects involving  animals  carried  out  abroad  by  a  University  researcher  or  by  third  parties  in  collaboration with the University.He/sheshall  verify  thatthe  project  is  authorized  by  the relevantcountry’s competent authority on animal research, when such an authority exists.Researchers failing to comply with the present directive may facedisciplinary sanctions.


The Committee :
1. defines  a  list  of  countries  that  do  not  require  a submission  to  the  Committee,  i.e.  countries where  the  conditions  of  animal researchand  ethical assessment are equivalent  to those applied  in  Switzerland. This  list  is  not applicable  to  projects  carrying  a severity  degree  3  or involving non-human primates or endangered species*
2. ensures  that animal research projects  carried  out  abroad  and  submitted  for  evaluation comply  with the  ethical principles  founded  on  the  CRUS  Policyand  the  ASSM  and  SCNAT “Ethical Principles and Guidelines for Animal Research”
3 issues a  preliminary  opinion  on  the  animal research projects  carried  out  abroad  that  are submitted for evaluation.
The Committeemay also be consulted by the Rectorate and researchers at the University of Geneva and Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) on any question regarding animal research ethics.

A  member  of  the Committee who is  directly involved  in a research protocol cannot participate indeliberations on that protocol.

Members are bound to keep strictly confidential allinformation appearing in protocols submitted for preliminary opinion and the deliberations of the Committee.


The Committee comprises the following members :

- one professor specializing in ethics,
- two researchers from the Faculty of Medicine,at least one of professorial rank,
- two researchers from the Faculty of Science, at least one of professorial rank.

The President  and  other  members  of  the  Committee are designated  by  the Rectorate of  the University of Geneva. The Rectorate shall endeavour to ensure equal gender representation.

Committee members  are  nominated  for  a  three-year,  renewable  term.  They  are  chosen  for  their scientific, professional and human qualities and their sensitivity towards animal research ethics.The President  is chosen from the University professors on the Committee. In  case  of resignation  of  a member  during  his/her  term,  the  committee may,  through  its President, propose replacement candidates.

The Director of Animal Experimentation may participate in Committeesessions, but may not vote.

The Committee may consult other members of the University scientific community at any time.

The Study Director submits to the Committee projects involving animals during experiments abroad carried out by a University researcher or third parties in collaboration with the University of Geneva. This is applicable to :

  • any project of severity degree 3 or involving non-human primates or endangered species* carried out in any country other than Switzerland,
  • any project involving the use of animals (as per the Swiss Animal Welfare Act) carried out in a country not included in the list established by the Committee.

The Committee shall communicate a preliminary opinion to the Director of Animal Experimentation.

If the Director of Animal Experimentation concurs with the Committee's preliminary opinion, he/she communicates his/her decision to the Study Director.

If the Director of Animal Experimentation does not concur with the Committee's preliminary opinion, he/she details the reasons for his/her position and hands the matter over to the Rectorate for a final decision.

* in reference to Annex I, CITES



Version Objet de la modification Date de publication
1 Document contrôlé à jour en septembre 2019

Dernières modifications : 30/03/2022