Animal Welfare Officers
§10 of the Protection of Animals Act dictates the need for facilities that conduct experiments on vertebrates to appoint one or several Animal Welfare Officers.
These Animal Welfare Officers function as advisors to the facility and the people assigned to lifestock husbandry. Furthermore, they are appointed to supervise the proper abidance by the regulations, specifications and obligations given by the Protection of Animals Act. The Animal Welfare Officers deliver their opinion on every application for a license and are supposed to internally work towards the development of proceedings to reduce the amount of animal experiments required.
Due to the numerous amount of animal experiments, the University of Heidelberg has appointed several Animal Welfare Officers. Each Animal Welfare Officer has an area of responsibility (Responsibilities) with an appointed deputy.
Besides the Protection of Animals Act, a departmental note regulates the specific duties, rights and responsibilities for the University.
When planning a research project involving animals, the experimenters ought to contact the responsible Animal Welfare Officer for the specific facility for advance clarifications and the required consultation prior to filing the application.