Facts and figures

Each animal is recorded in detail and animal numbers are submitted annually to the Freiburg Regional Council. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment publishes Germany-wide statistics on the animals used in experiments.

Animal experiments 2023 by animal species and number

Species Quantity Percentage
Mice 7.035 82%
Zebrafish 1.472 17%
Other fish species 27 < 1%
Total 8.534 100%

At MPI-IE, mainly mice are used for the experiments. Zebrafish and other fish species account for approx. 17% of the animals used.

Type of experiments according to severity

About 52% of the animals are used for organ extraction without any treatment or experimental intervention.

In the actual animal experiments, most animals (36%) experience mild levels of distress and 11% experience moderate levels of distress. Less than 1% of the animals used are classified as "severe".

Severity definitions according to EU Directive 2010/63/EU

Procedures performed entirely under general anaesthesia from which the animal does not awaken are classified as "non-recovery".

Procedures that are expected to cause minor pain, suffering or distress to the animal for a short period of time and procedures that do not significantly affect the welfare or general condition of the animal are classified as "mild".

Procedures that are expected to cause moderate short-term pain, moderate suffering or distress or prolonged mild pain to the animals and procedures that are expected to cause moderate welfare or general distress to the animals shall be classified as 'moderate'.

Procedures that are likely to cause severe pain, suffering or distress to animals, or prolonged moderate pain, suffering or distress, and procedures that are likely to cause severe welfare or general distress to animals shall be classified as 'severe'.



Information from the Max Planck Society

A mouse with brown fur sits on a purple glove and looks at the camera
The Max Planck Society's Animal Experimentation Topic Portal offers a comprehensive insight into the scientific, ethical, but also public discourse that is associated with animal experimentation research. more
Cover of the MPG policy statement on animal studies
In its white paper, the Max Planck Society emphasises that animal experiments are still indispensable for biomedical research, but also acknowledges its special responsibility for laboratory animals. more


General information on animal experiments

Information Initiative „Tierversuche verstehen” Initiative of the Alliance of Science Organisations that provides comprehensive and fact-based information on animal experiments at publicly funded research institutions.

DFG „Animal Experimentation in Research“ The brochure of the German Research Foundation provides figures and information on areas of application of animal experiments as well as on possibilities and limits of alternative methods.

Compass Animal Testing 2023 With the Animal Experimentation Compass, the initiative "Tierversuche verstehen" publishes relevant additional information and graphics on animal experimentation figures in Germany and Europe.

Pro-Test e.V. Independent initiative of animal caretakers, students, researchers and veterinarians to inform about science and animal experimentation in research.

Animal Research Info is an English-language educational platform for students, journalists and the general public, provided by the British non-profit initiative Understanding Animal Research (UAR).

Speaking of Research is an international advocacy group that provides carefully researched information on the importance of research involving animals in the biomedical, behavioural and life sciences.

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