The legal regulations governing research projects with animal experiments are primarily the German Protection of Animals Act, the General Administrative Directive for the Execution of the Protection of Animals Act and the Notification Decree for Animals in Experimental use. The foundation for this is the european guideline 2010/63/EU of the european parliament and council of September 22nd 2010 for the protection of experimental animals.
According to current regulations, animal experiments may only be conducted if they are licensed. The procedure requires an application with the sanctioning authority (Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe). The Animal Welfare Officer is required to deliver an opinion on each project.
Independent from the nature of the animal experiments, facilities that conduct animal experiments are monitored and regulated independent from the nature of the conducted animal experiments by the sanctioning authority. For the University of Heidelberg, the sanctioning authority is the department 35 of the Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe. Monitoring is conducted by a member of the veterinary department of the city of Heidelberg.
All experiments have to be documented. The authorities suggest using protocols that are geared towards the legal regulations.