Housing of animals

Novo Nordisk has established improved standards for housing of experimental animals.

Novo Nordisk’s state-of-the-art housing standards consider the physiological and ethological (behavioural) needs of the animals. We have successfully been able to implement the standards for all animals housed at our facilities. The design of our renovated facilities was made in close collaboration with The Danish Animal Welfare Society and with valuable input from many internationally recognised experts within animal welfare, as well as input from the employees working every day with the animals, especially the animal caretakers.


Spokespersons for the animals
Animal caretakes

The animal caretakers at the Novo Nordisk animal facilities care deeply for the welfare of animals. In fact, our employees regard themselves as spokespersons for the animals. They have expertise from the daily handling of animals. The animal caretakers know exactly what the animals are allowed to be exposed to; this is described in guidelines and protocols. They have the responsibility to interfere whenever they observe or feel that animals are suffering unnecessarily or unexpectedly. 

Animals at external contractors

Novo Nordisk collaborates with a number of external contractors that perform animal studies on our behalf. Approximately 20% of all Novo Nordisk’s animal studies are outsourced.

Novo Nordisk makes sure that all external contractors comply with Novo Nordisk principles on the use of animals and the revised Appendix A of ETS No. 123, the Council of Europe's guidelines for accommodation and care of animals. This guideline was implemented into Danish legislation in 2003. From 2010 it also became a part of the EU directive covering the area of experimental animals which was implemented in the EU as of Jan 2013.

We visit and monitor all external contractors prior to use. The monitoring process can result in one of three scenarios: fully approved, approved with reservations or not approved. We will only perform studies at approved contractors. For contractors approved with reservations, the deviations from the principles and guidelines are described and evaluated by the end of the monitoring process. This has led to collaborations resulting in improved conditions at several external contractors. It is our belief that collaboration, dialogue and inspiration are the best ways to facilitate improvements.

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Animals in pharmaceutical research and development brochure

Animals in pharmaceutical research and development

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