Introduction to the use of research animals in Norway
Please note that the booklet illustrated on the right was published in 1999. The latest information on, for example, the number of animals used in research in Norway can be obtained from the website of the National Animal Research Authority (Forsøksdyrutvalget). A new version of this booklet will be published soon.
Norway has ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals used for Experimental and other Scientific Purposes (ETS 123) issued by the Council of Europe (Europarådet). Here is an overview of all the treaties from the Council of Europe in English (the official site of the Council of Europe). Scroll down to ETS 123. This site includes a list of those countries that have signed and ratified ETS 123. Norway was part of the first group of countries that signed the Convention (on 18th March 1986) and was the first country to ratify it (on 9th July 1986). The text of the Convention is available here in Norwegian. A multilateral consultation on the interpretation of some of the terms and provisions in the convention was held in November 1992. Among other things, the introduction of a needle into the body of an animal was considered to be a regulated procedure. An amendment to the Convention enables more rapid changes to be made.
Following a multilateral consultation, the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution on education and training of persons working with laboratory animals on 3rd December 1993.
A major revision of Appendix A to the Convention, which contains guidelines for the housing, care and management of laboratory animals, was agreed upon in June 2006 and came into force on 15th June 2007, including separate recommendations for each species or group of species. An overview of the most important changes in the revised version of Appendix A is available here in Norwegian. (The old version of Appendix A, without the tables and figures, is available here in Norwegian for comparison.)
In July 2009, an expert working group produced proposals for severity classification of procedures on animals.
For comparison, the European Union's legislation on laboratory animals, including the directive 86/609/EEC of 24 November 1986 can be read here. On 5 November 2008 the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the Directive. The new Directive, 2010/63/EU, was adopted on 22 September 2010 and comes into force on 1 January 2013. The Directive will also apply in Norway. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is currently designing a new monitoring system for animal research and writing a new Regulation to implement the text of the Directive.
Statistics showing the numbers of animals used in research in the EU are available here.
An overview of Norwegian law related to animals, written by Live Kleveland, can be accesssed here at the Animal Legal and Historical Center.
The licensing system in use in Great Britain is described here.
Click here to continue...