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Culture of Care in Animal Research

The University of Basel strongly supports a culture of professionalism, responsibility, high quality and compliance in all areas of our academic and research activities. As a testimony for its high standards in animal experimentation, the University of Basel has joined the Swiss Culture of Care Charter, which was initiated by the Swiss 3Rs Competence Center (Swiss 3RCC).

Swiss Culture of Care Charter © Bettina Matthiessen

An institution’s culture defines its values and beliefs and provides guidance on ethics, norms and principles employees should abide by and foster an organizations capacity to thrive.

The Culture of Care (CoC) in laboratory animal science is the commitment of the University of Basel and all member organizations to implement a caring and respectful attitude towards the animals bred or used for scientific procedures as well as all staff involved in animal experimentation. It further includes promoting transparency and visibility of our research activities. By improving animal wellbeing and continuously following the 3Rs principle, we concurrently aim at increasing the scientific quality of animal experiments. The establishment of a CoC program signifies an institution’s responsibility to be proactive and ensure to meet or go beyond the legal requirements and obligations.



Principles of the Swiss Culture of Care Charter © Swiss 3R Competence Centre

When all players – animal caretakers, scientists, facility managers, veterinarians, animal welfare officers and decision takers – implement some actions daily, this positively impacts on the welfare of the animals, the research, the satisfaction of employees and also the trust of the public. 
In a Culture of Care, treating all living beings with respect becomes the norm, and considering whether research results can be obtained by alternative to animal testing becomes a matter of course.

The CoC Charter provides practical suggestions for actions to incorporate the Culture of Care in the daily animal care and research activities. The Charter focuses on four key areas for good practice guidance: Caring – Accountability – Respect – Excellence.

The CoC Charter represents a self-commitment of the University of Basel in the field of animal research to continue to apply the 3R principles and to foster a positive and professional research environment, for our staff, the animals, and society. It further complements our commitment for a transparent communication in animal research (STAAR).



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