Animal Facility

Animal Facility

The Animal Facility is part of the scientific infrastructure at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. Mainly, transgenic mice for basic biological research are generated and bred here. In addition, the Animal Facility keeps clawed frogs, rats, rabbits, and alpacas. Also, some research groups keep flies and nematode cultures directly in their laboratories.

Most of the animals involved in experiments at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry are bred at the institute while some come from specialized breeders under regulatory control. Jointly with two veterinarians, trained and experienced animal care staff ensures that the animals are kept according to their individual needs in the best possible way and according to animal welfare law.

Mice are housed in plastic cages with free access to food and water where they can retreat in small igloo-shaped hideouts. Nesting material made from cardboard und dried plant fiber contributes to thermal regulation and provides the females with optimal conditions to care for their brood.

Rats are kept in spacious cages with elevated wire lids that allow for the species-specific rearing behavior. Tubes provide hideouts and paper tissues are available for the rats’ occupation and nest building.

Rabbits are mainly kept in groups on bedding and straw. Each room offers cover and several hideouts. If required, small groups of up to four animals are also kept in spacious cages interconnected by partition removal. Each animal is thus provided with individual opportunities to retreat.

African clawed frogs live in a system of aquaria where they can use hiding places and artificial floats. Salts are added to the Göttingen tap water so that lime content and osmotically active composition closely match the conditions in the native African ponds. Constant high water quality and oxygenation is ensured by biological, UV light, and charcoal filters as well as regular water exchange.

Alpacas live as a herd of six mares in a spacious enclosure. They can access stable as well as meadow, sand, and gravel areas 24 hours a day all year round. The alpacas may be visited anytime without appointment at their home, which is located next to the Child Care Facility and which was laid out by an expert for enclosure design.

If you would like to visit other parts of our Animal Facility, please make an appointment with our Press and public relations office.

An animal welfare officer constantly supervises that the high quality standards are met in the Animal Facility and when experiments with animals are conducted at the institute. The adherence to these standards is confirmed by regular inspections of the Veterinary Office. Moreover, in order to ensure that stress to the animals is kept to a minimum scientists are advised on the planning and conducting of experiments that involve animals by the animal welfare officer.

Further Information

Portal of the Max Planck Society about Animal Studies
Information on animal experiments from the Max Planck Society more
Animal Experiments in Research – information by the German Research Foundation DFG
Brochure issued by the Senate Commission on Animal Protection and Experimentation of the German Research Foundation DFG (2016) (in German) more
AnimalResearch.Info – Understanding Animal Research
This website, of the British group UAR, provides a wealth of information about animal research and the resulting advances in science and medicine. more
GV-Solas – Gesellschaft für Versuchstierkunde
GV-Solas is committed to the responsible care of laboratory animals and sees itself as a mediator between animal protection and research for the welfare of humans and animals. It is a competent interlocutor for legislators, scientists, and the public when expertise on laboratory animals and their welfare is required. (in German) more
Basel Declaration
A call for more trust, transparency and communication on animal research more
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