Research into animal health
Royal GD has a large research department and a state of the art veterinary laboratory at its disposal, where more than 4.8 million lab tests are conducted each year. The results of the laboratory tests are analysed by GD, and form the basis for determining the general health status of various veterinary sectors. While we analyse the anonymised big data, our pathologists conduct necropsies on dead animals in order to identify (farm-specific) diseases, vets visit farms, and researchers conduct desk research and practical studies in order to learn more about the origins of certain animal diseases and disorders, as well as how to treat or cure them. Test results marked with a GD logo are of great value: they're synonymous with reliability.
Applied research using animals
GD has an excellent international reputation when it comes to applied research, forming the link between science and daily practice. If no valid alternatives are available or when bound by legislation, we also use animals for research purpose. This always concerns research aimed at improving the health of the farm animals on which the research is conducted. The animal used for research always is the target animal. This fits seamlessly with our mission: Teaming up for animal health, in the interests of animals, their owners and society at large.
Veterinary medicines must comply with strict, set standards if they are to protect animals from and cure them of pathogens effectively enough to be introduced to the market. GD has an endorsement of compliance for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and conducts the statutory research required to guarantee such medicines actually comply with all the necessary quality requirements. The use of good and effective veterinary medicines in the field prevents disease and therefore promotes animal welfare.
Testing of veterinary medicines
GD holds a general permit for research using animals, in addition to that an extra permit must always be requested for each individual animal study. Even when it comes to legally required research. Moreover, the research may only be conducted in the precise manner described in the project permit. The entire process is audited by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA). Testing of veterinary medicines in poultry, for example, takes place at a special facility that complies with the statutory requirements regarding the housing of these animals.
GD also conducts field studies for farm animals (chicken, cattle, pig, sheep, goat) in the form of practical research. Certain groups of animals are monitored under practical circumstances, so that data can be collected. The purpose of such a study could, for example, be to gain insight into the prevalence of certain disease, the risk factors, the method by which it spreads, or the effect of certain measures or treatment methods. When (blood) samples are collected at regular farms for the purpose of a field study, these too are covered by the rules of test animal research and a permit must therefore be requested.
Research using test animals may only be conducted under very strict conditions:
- The company doing the research must be a permit holder and must only employ professionally trained, competent and authorised personnel.
- Research using animals always requires a permit to be granted by the Central Netherlands Committee for Animal testing (CCD).
- The permit application always requires the consideration of the so-called 3 x Rs:
- Replacement: Can the test be (partially) conducted without the use of test animals?
- Reduction: Can the test be conducted using less animals?
- Refinement: Is the research designed in such a manner that the animals suffer the least possible discomfort?
- At GD, any animal used for research purposes is always the so-called target animal; the animal for which the medicine is to be registered or for which the possibilities for treatment of disease or the laboratory test are being researched. GD only conducts research for farm animals (chicken, cattle, pig, sheep, goat).
- Alongside the permit granted by the CCD, each study must also be approved byan Animal Welfare Authority (Instantie voor Dierwelzijn, IVD).
- A non-technical summary of each study for which a permit has been granted, is published on the CCD website.
More information about the conditions
2014 saw implementation of the European Guideline (2010/63/EU) for animal testing in scientific research in the Netherlands. The Centrale Commissie Dierproeven (CCD) plays an important role thereby. The non-technical summary of animal tests for which a permit has been granted are published on the CCD website. The Netherlands National committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (NCad) protects animals used for scientific research. The committee gives advice, both solicited and unsolicited, to achieve visible improvements regarding Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animal tests (3 R's).
Get in touch
Please fill in our form to contact Berend Oosterhuis, Fanny Nieuwenhuis, or Eveline Peereboom to arrange a meeting with our research project teams or to inquire about any matters.
Our teams have expertise in poultry, cattle, swine, small ruminants, and equine health.