Licences and legislation

Using animals for scientific or educational purposes always requires a licence. Before one can begin an experiment, the study must be given a valid licence issued by the National Animal Experiment Board in Finland, ELLA. Some studies using animals are not animal experiments. In this case, an internal licence will be applied from Oulu Laboratory Animal Centre.

Project licence and internal licence

Project licences

Animal experimentation always requires a licence. Animal experiments are authorised in Finland by the national Animal Experiment Board (Hankelupalautakunta ELLA), appointed by the Finnish government. The members of ELLA are researchers, veterinarians, experts in animal care and experts in practical animal protection work or ethical questions. The chair of the board holds the Master’s degree in Law. The composition and principles of the board are explained in ELLA home pages.

  • A project can be started only after the ELLA has granted the licence for the research.
  • A project can be carried out only if there is no other scientifically satisfactory method in order to achieve the results set as the objective
  • A project must be replaced entirely or partly whenever possible
  • The number of animals may not be greater than necessary for achieving the objective
  • The procedures shall be performed causing as less pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm to animals as possible

Internal licence

Internal licences can be applied for the studies which are not causing the pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm equivalent to the needle puncture. These licences can be approved locally.

The licence is applied in LabAnimals Pro as an internal licence. The approved study will be numbered with a OULAC licence number.

You will get the internal licence usually within a few days.

GM register

A new gene-manipulated strain must be reported by submitting the notification on gene modified animals to the OULAC register. It is legally required for laboratory animal establishments to have a list of all GM strains that are bred and maintained in the establishment. Risk assessment is an important part of the GM notification.

A GM register notification is made with a form that is delivered as an e-mail attachment to Hanna-Marja Voipio.

The GM register notification must be completed in the following cases:

  • Starting the production of a new GM strain
  • Two existing GM strains will be crossed
  • A new GM strain will be transported to OULAC from elsewhere. The notification must be valid already during the transportation of the animals.

The register is specific to the GM strain. The strain marked in the register does not need to be registered again if it has been registered earlier by another researcher.