University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Photo story: Down in the animal laboratories

There are between 30,000 and 50,000 animals at the Faculty of Health Sciences, all used for experiments. Our Danish colleagues in the Universitetsavisen were given an exclusive tour of the facilities

Our photographer took a guided tour of the animal pens and stables at Panum buildings, where we could find mice, rats, frogs, chickens, cats, rabbits, ferrets and pigs.

Professor Jann Hau, head of the Department of Experimental Medicine, is responsible for the welfare of the thousands of animals. There will always be ethical problems associated with the use of live animals for scientific experiments, but the department does everything possible for animal welfare, he says.

It has established its own animal welfare committee and the department received in 2009 a so-called accreditation from AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International). It is a non-profit organization working to promote the human treatment of laboratory animals.

Ethics for and against

Animal testing has always been controversial.

Jann Hau points out that there would also be ethical problems associated with a ban on animal testing. It would deprive scientists of developing new therapies that could potentially save many lives.

Take the tour and see what happens at the Department of Experimental Medicine here.

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.