Each experimental project working with experimental animals has to be applied for.
For which kind of animal experimental project you have to apply for is regulated in §7 and §8a of the animal protection act, your animal welfare officer can advise you when in doubt.
Before the actual application, you should contact your animal welfare officer, discuss a draft version and read the guide of the Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe (currently under revision). After completion of the final version you have to hand in 3 copies and the documents to be attached* at the secretariat of the animal welfare officers. Your animal welfare officer has to write a comment then. All necessary copies will be produced in the secretariat and the application is forwarded to the Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe and the Bürgeramt Heidelberg.
Only when all necessary documents are present will the application be processed by the Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe. The Regierungspräsidium then produces a confirmation of receipt which is sent to the applicant. From here on, there is a deadline of 40 work days, during which the agency has to process your application. In special cases the deadline can be extended by 15 working days, about which the applicant is told.
Regarding the decision about an application the controlling agency is advised by the so-called §15 commission. Easiest case: application is granted. If there are ambiguities the agency will send a letter with questions. These questions have to be answered by the applicant in a separate document (do not use the original application!). According to quantity and difficulty of the questions the application can either be granted by the Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe after reception of the answers or have to be presented to the commsion again. In very difficult cases this might result in additional questions
*documents to be attached:
1. data sheet for genetically modified animals
2. form sheet biometrics
3. Non-technical project summary (NTP)
4. staff sheet (including qualifications) if not provided yet