You need a licence both to use and to breed laboratory animals.
You also need a licence if you only supply laboratory animals that you did not breed yourself, or if you house laboratory animals on someone else´s behalf.
Licence for using laboratory animalsIf you want to use laboratory animals, you need to bear the following in mind:
If you want to apply for a licence to use laboratory animals, please use the form to the right.
- You need a licence from the Board of Agriculture in order to be allowed to use laboratory animals.
- The Board of Agriculture must approve the establishment (facility and premises) where the animals are kept.
- An ethical committee must approve each experiment.
The Board of Agriculture considers several aspects when we decide whether to grant permission or not.
Your organisation must be suitable for conducting animal experiments Before an organisation is allowed to use laboratory animals, the organisation must demonstrate to the Board of Agriculture that it is suitable to do so. This means, among other things, that the staff must have the skills and experience sufficient for the kind of experiments proposed in the application. For instance, staff members need to know how to design an experiment, whether there are any alternative methods available, and whether equivalent research has already been conducted elsewhere.
The animals must be bred for laboratory useUsually, the animals to be used in the experiment need to be bred for laboratory use. This applies to mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, quails and primates, as well as all genetically modified vertebrates.
In some cases, ordinary cats and dogs that are kept at home may be used for experiments, even though they are not bred for this purpose. For instance, this may be the case when testing a new animal drug or studying if a disease is present in a certain breed. If you want to conduct such an experiment you need to apply to the Board of Agriculture for an exemption. Please use the form Exception to the rules on destined breeding, which you will find in the right-hand column.
A veterinarian and an approved supervisor are required A veterinarian needs to be assigned to the experiments. The veterinarian is to monitor animal welfare and also give advice and guidance about the design of the actual experiments.
The veterinarian should preferably be placed at the facility where the experiments are carried out or at least live or work close enough that he or she can visit every day. The veterinarian must be licenced to practice in Sweden.
All activities involving laboratory animals also require a supervisor. The supervisor must be approved by the Board of Agriculture.
More information about veterinarians and approved supervisors.
must have sufficient knowledge If you are handling laboratory animals, you must have an education that provides you with sufficient knowledge. Among other things, you need to be familiar with relevant legislation, be able to care for and handle the animals,have knowledge about anatomy, nutrition and animal diseases and be able to judge the animals´ health condition and recognize if they are suffering.
If you do not have such skills yet, you must work under the supervision of somebody who does.
The knowledge requirement applies to anyone who takes care of ,or uses laboratory animals, as well as anyone who takes part in experiments for which someone else is responsible. The requirements are less extensive if you
More details about the necessary knowledge and educational requirements are given in the Swedish regulation in the right-hand column. However, this is only available in Swedish.
- use animals in field experiments that do not involve surgery, injections or suffering
- only use invertebrate animals.
Approved facilityThe Board of Agriculture must approve the facilities and premises where laboratory animals are to be kept.
If the experiments are to be carried out at a farm or other holding in agricultural use, for instance on dairy cows in an ordinary stable, there is no need to apply for approval.
New facilities must be approved and inspected in advance When new facilities are built, or existing facilities are rebuilt, they need to be approved by the Board of Agriculture before they are put to use. This also applies in cases when the facility is renovated or makes some kind of change that may affect animal welfare, for instance if it changes its housing system.
When applying for approval, you need to enclose detailed plans of the new facility. You must also state what animals you want to keep at the facility as well as what kinds of activity you intend to carry out. Then, the Board of Agriculture determines if the facility is suitable from the point of view of animal welfare. Above all, we want to see that the animals' environment permits them to behave naturally. We also make sure that there is proper ventilation, that the lighting does not disturb the animals and that the facility is not too noisy.
When the facility is completed, the Board of Agriculture inspects it. After the inspection, you will receive a letter that says whether or not we have approved the facility, or if there is anything else you need to do pending approval. The approval is valid for ten years.
Special rules apply if you use genetically modified animals If the experiments involve genetically modified animals, they must be carried out in a facility that has been constructed so that the GM animals cannot come into contact with the surrounding environment.
You must apply to the Board of Agriculture for permission to use the facility. The information that must be included in the application is listed in the Swedish regulations on genetically modified animals in the right-hand column. You should also add the phrase "I hereby notify that I intend to keep genetically modified animals at the facility" to your application.
It is a good idea to apply for permission to use the facility for GM animals at the same time as you apply to have the facility approved for the keeping of laboratory animals.
If activities are to change or end, you need to notify the Board of Agriculture before the change is implemented.
An ethical committee must approve the experiments Before you begin an experiment, an ethical committee must approve it.
Here, you can find more information about ethical evaluation.
Licence to breed laboratory animals You need a licence from the Board of Agriculture in order to breed laboratory animals. In order to obtain a licence you must comply with the following requirements:
The rules regarding laboratory animal facilities, supervisors and veterinarians are the same as in the case of using laboratory animals. Please read the information higher up on this page.
- Breeding is to take placeat an approved establishment.
- An approved supervisor and a veterinarian must be at hand.
- There must be a need for the laboratory animals you intend to breed.
Please use the form in the right-hand column when applying for a licence to breed laboratory animals.
Sometimes you need a licence to breed laboratory animals even if they belong to species that need not be destined for laboratory use, such as pigs or bovine animals. This applies to cases where most of the animals you breed are intended for laboratory use. If, on the other hand, you breed for instance pigs for slaughter, you can sell a few animals for laboratory use without needing a licence to breed laboratory animals.
You need a licence for other activities as well You need a licence from the Board of Agriculture to supply laboratory animals that you do not breed yourself. This may be the case if you import laboratory animals on behalf of someone else. Please contact us for more information about this.
If you are keeping laboratory animals without using, breeding or supplying them, you need a licence for the act of keeping such animals. This may be the case if you take care of laboratory animals on behalf of someone else before or in between experiments. Please contact us for more information about this.
Fees There is a fee attached to certain cases. You can find the entire list of fees in the Swedish regulation "Fees for certain matters" in the right-hand column. However, this information is available in Swedish only.