No Change in the Number of Animals Used in Experiments
Fig. 5 Total Number of Animals Used in Experiments in 1991-1995
Information on Animal Testing and Experimentation
Status of Rabbit Cages
Transgenic Animals
Tables


Our ongoing objective is to minimize the number of animals used in experiments by promoting the development of alternative methods of testing pharmaceutical and enzyme products, and by continuously monitoring the number of animals used in experiments. While the animals are in our care we seek to ensure their well-being and to reduce discomfort and pain as far as possible. Novo Nordisk believes that it is ethically acceptable to use transgenic animals when the objective is to develop safe, more effective pharmaceutical products.

No Change in the Number of Animals Used in Experiments
In 1995 the number of animals used in experiments by Novo Nordisk in Denmark, its subsidiaries and on a contract basis was 160,707, which is approximately the same number as in 1994. Figure 5 shows the development in the number of animals used in experiments from 1991 to 1995. Tables 11 and 12 show the numbers of the individual species used by Novo Nordisk in Denmark, its subsidiaries and on contract. The most significant factors influencing both choice of species and the total number of animals used in experiments are the total number of projects and their development phase.

1995 Target: To ensure an ongoing improvement in conditions for animals and to maintain the focus on the use of animals, we shall initiate supplementary training activities in experiment planning, experiment performance and animal handling.
A one-day pilot course on animal testing and experimentation was held in November 1995 for 20 employees whose everyday work is within this area. The course considered legislation and ethics, transgenic animals and experiment planning, and care and handling of the animals, as well as pain relief, anaesthetization and humane killing. The course will in future be held twice a year and will focus primarily on attitudes and ethics.

Fig. 5 Total Number of Animals Used in Experiments in 1991-1995

Information on Animal Testing and Experimentation
Animals used in experiments and their welfare attract considerable public attention and we receive many enquiries from school classes and other stakeholder groups. To meet these requests more effectively, we are preparing a folder on animal experimentation, expected to be published during 1996. We will then produce a video for both internal and external audiences.

1995 Target: We shall seek to make further use of in vitro methods where possible by increasing the focus on the use of animals for experiments.
This target was achieved in 1995 by holding information meetings for directors from Novo Nordisk's research and development departments, from quality assurance and from the registration department. The meetings' agenda was the use of animals for experiments, use of in vitro and other alternative methods, and discontinuation of superfluous biological production tests. The focus on use of animals in experiments will be maintained by sending this target group biannual statistics for their respective purchase of animals, including the number of superfluous animals. We will continue to promote the use of in vitro methods where possible by focusing on minimizing biological control tests.

1996 Target: Continue to promote the use of in vitro methods where possible by focusing on minimizing biological control tests.

Status of Rabbit Cages
As previously reported, the cages of most of our rabbits are smaller than currently specified by EU requirements. A new type of cage has therefore been developed, which has twice the area, a hiding place and a peephole. This will significantly improve the rabbits' environment. The new cages will be implemented in the animal facilities by the end of 1996.

Our new rabbit cages provide extra space, a place to hide and a peephole (click on image to enlarge).

Transgenic Animals
1995 Target: We will closely monitor developments in the use of transgenic animals at Novo Nordisk and prepare a corporate policy on this issue.
In 1995 Novo Nordisk used 191 transgenic mice for research. We have prepared a position paper on transgenic animals in 1995, but since we do not believe that our use of transgenic animals differs essentially from that of other animals in experiments, we will continue to work on an overall policy on use of animals in experiments. The policy will also consider transgenic animals in the future production of pharmaceuticals.

Table 11. Number and species of animals used in experiments, as untreated animals as controls, or as animals used to donate blood, tissue or organs for in vitro studies at Novo Nordisk in Denmark in 1994 and 1995.

 

 

 

 

1994

1995

Mice

*89,650

**96,779

Rats

43,111

37,769

Gerbils

3,065

2,605

Guinea pigs

2,096

1,348

Rabbits

1,964

2,150

Poultry

631

607

Frogs

70

24

Pigs

252

222

Cats

9

0

Dogs

23

17

Goats

12

14

Total

140,883

141,535

* Of which 228 were transgenic mice.

 

 

** Of which 161 were transgenic mice.

 

 

Table 12. Number and species of animals used in experiments in subsidiaries and on contract.

 

 

 

 

1994

1995

Mice

*10,920

**12,647

Rats

6,931

5,452

Guinea pigs

698

318

Rabbits

704

348

Poultry

2,82

0

Pigs

27

37

Cats

10

0

Dogs

140

108

Primates

26

178

Other

 

 

vertebrates

314

84

Total

22,590

19,172

* Of which 8 were transgenic mice.

 

 

** Of which 30 were transgenic mice.

 

 

Furthermore, in 1994 22,180 hens, chickens and turkeys and 435 pigs, and in 1995 58,934 hens, chickens and turkeys and 7,488 pigs, were used in trials with feed to which enzymes were added to improve feed utilization. These animals were included in the total figure presented in the 1994 Environmental Report. However since the animals are slaughtering stock for human consumption, and not used in actual experimentation, they will no longer be included in our total figures. The figure for 1994 has therefore been adjusted.

Menu Next