Research involving animals is crucial when it comes to achieving scientific and medical progress, and is also very important for UZH, emphasizes Elisabeth Stark. The Vice President Research believes maintaining exemplary standards of animal welfare and an open dialogue with society is key.
Research involving animals benefits humans and animals alike. At UZH, the research questions are as diverse as the animal species that are sometimes used to explore them, ranging from behavioral studies to research on metastasizing tumors through animal models.
Research that involves animals is an ambivalent matter, not only when it comes to evaluating interests, which is prescribed by law. The potential benefits for society of being able to better understand and treat severe diseases have to be weighed against the distress that the animals may experience during their breeding, keeping and involvement in research. “Many people thus take a critical view of experiments on animals and only find them acceptable in certain circumstances,” Elisabeth Stark points out. “This is why UZH wants to take an even more active part in engaging with the media, political authorities and the general public. We have to provide open and transparent information about how and why we use animals in our research – again and again.”