Animal welfare and animal experimentation at ULiège

ULiège is a comprehensive university, with 11 faculties and over 3200 teaching and research staff active in almost every field of knowledge. To pursue their research and generate new knowledge from which humans and/or animals will benefit, experimentation on laboratory animals may be necessary and compulsory by law.

The University of Liège is a signatory to the agreement on transparency in animal experimentation, promoted by EARA.

This agreement contains four main commitments:

  1. Clarify how, when and why animals are used in research
  2. Better communication with the media and the public on implementing alternatives and reducing or refining animal experimentation.
  3. Offer the general public the opportunity to familiarize themselves with laboratory animal research and the regulations that apply to it, for example by organizing open days in laboratories.
  4. Report on the impact of our communications and share our experiences annually.

This information and other initiatives are designed to fulfil our commitments.

What is an animal experiment? Why is experimentation using laboratory animals useful? A highly supervised and controlled process A cutting-edge methodology used for the benefit of animal welfare. "Animal experimentation remains important to protect the health of citizens and animals and to preserve the environment". At ULiège, transparent experimentation using laboratory animals, carried out within the strict framework of the law and in the interests of human and animal health. Type of animals enrolled One number can hide another What about vivisection? Where do laboratory animals come from? What happens to the animals after the experiment? Competence of researchers What about the Basel Declaration? What about alternative methods? The 3R's principle: Replace, Reduce, Refine. Beyond the 3 Rs principle : why not also "Thank the experimental animals"?

Often disparaged rarely promoted, research involving animals is nevertheless a source of high added value, particularly scientific, medical, societal, and social.

It's a crucial social choice that must be made with the utmost respect for animals.

Animal experimentation represents a small but essential part of Biomedical Research. 44 laboratories carry it out in Wallonia (185 in Belgium), and their work is governed by regularly evolving legislation.

The debate on animal experimentation is, in essence, about values which, by definition, have a solid subjective connotation. It might seem, for example, that animal ethics committees should start from the premise that the interests of the human being (or of an animal species) outweigh the interests of the experimental animals (Nicks B, lecture note). In no case, however, to such an extent that any interest of the human being (or of an animal species) prevails over any interest of the animal.

Consequently, ensuring that pain is prevented, detected, treated or even eliminated is a legal obligation and a moral duty for researchers.

Similarly, strictly implementing methods - from the simplest to the most sophisticated - that contribute to improving the well-being of animals enrolled in research transcends notions of ethics. It is certainly also a moral obligation that goes far beyond the legal framework.

Researching, identifying, criticizing and developing any methodology that might enable us to move away from the animal model in favor of other models is also a task to which everyone must devote themselves, in the context of a science that is self-critical, that is evolving by assessing the stakes, risks and benefits, that wants to embrace the evolution (or even revolution) of mentalities, a (r)evolution in which every researcher must participate.

And this evolution will also involve communication.

Researchers have been abused numerous times (misleading publications, threats, fake news), so researchers are now taking the time to inform.

Various documents have been produced, and we invite the general public to read them.

Votre contact à l'ULiège

Commission d’éthique animale

updated on 9/1/23

Share this page