Operator and establishment

A laboratory animal establishment is an operational unit where

  • Animals are bred for animal experiments
  • Animals are sold, transmitted or delivered for animal experiments
  • Animal experiments are performed

The animal experiment unit must apply for an operating licence from the Regional State Administrative Agency. The provincial veterinarian of the Regional State Administrative Agency inspects the premises, equipment and operations of the unit before issuing the operating licence and performs regular inspections at the establishment.

The laboratory animal establishment must have sufficient and appropriate premises, devices and equipment. The cages and other conditions for the laboratory animals are regulated in detail by both national and international legislation.

If the establishment produces or maintains gene modified animals, the operating licence must also be applied for with the Board of Gene Technology. The establishments often have licences for closed class 1 operations where the risk classification of the GM animals is low. If the risk classification for the animals needed in the experiment is higher, the researcher should make sure that it is possible to use such organisms or animals in the establishment.  


The animal experiment unit must monitor the wellbeing of animals and the environmental conditions of the premises and keep a surveillance record of these. The surveillance record concerns, e.g., the following issues:

  • Animal acquired, sold or delivered to the unit, animals born and maintained in the unit as well as dead and euthanised animals
  • The origin of the animals
  • Animals used in procedures
  • Animal care and its malfunctions
  • Veterinary visits and procedures for veterinary care
  • Maintenance, malfunctions and repairs of equipment and devices
  • Animal illnesses, injuries and treatment procedures
  • Environmental conditions and malfunctions

Last updated: 30.12.2016