Ethics Committee for Animal Experimentation

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The Ethics Committee for Animal Experimentation (ECAE) is a body jointly operated by the SAMS and the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT). The ECAE serves as an expert and advisory body in the area of animal experimentation, with members drawn from various disciplines – basic research, veterinary medicine, animal welfare, law and ethics.


The Committee anticipates and discusses ethically challenging aspects of animal experimentation and develops opinions and recommendations. The ECAE serves the goal of promoting ethically responsible, high-quality and scientifically meaningful research.



Prof. Hanno Würbel, Abteilung für Tierschutz, Vetsuisse-Fakultät, Universität Bern (chair)
Dr. Beatrice Roth, Zürcher Tierschutz (vice chair)
lic. theol., Dipl.-Biol. Sibylle Ackermann Birbaum, SAMS, Bern (ex officio)
PhD Matthias Eggel, Inst. für Biomedizinische Ethik und Medizingeschichte, Universität Zürich
Prof. Angela Martin, Philosophisches Seminar, Universität Basel

Prof. Michael Schmid, Department of Neurosciences and Movement Sciences, Université de Fribourg
med. vet. Brigitte Stuber, BLV, Abteilung Tierschutz, Bern
Dr. Michaela Thallmair, Tierschutzbeauftragte, Universität Zürich
Prof. Susanne Ulbrich, Institut für Agrarwissenschaften, ETH Zürich




14.10.2021: On 13 February 2022, the Swiss electorate will vote on the popular initiative «Yes to a ban on animal and human experimentation». The SAMS recommends the rejection of the initiative.

Read more


14.09.2021: Report on the symposium «Monkey, Mouse or Zebrafish? Considerations in choosing model organisms»
On what considerations do researchers base their choice of model organisms for their studies? How do they deal with the implicit moral hierarchy among animals, with primates at the top and fish at the bottom? Scientific and ethical questions concerning the choice of model organisms were at the heart of the symposium on 1 July 2021. The aim was to raise awareness of these issues among researchers, animal welfare officers and regulators. In order to address questions as concretely as possible, the topic of the symposium was discussed with reference to a specific research field – Alzheimer’s disease. The report summarises the results.
Download the report


24.05.2019: The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, swissuniversities and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) had drawn up an argumentation with regard to the discussion of Maya Graf's parliamentary initiative 18.491 «Prohibition of heavy-burden animal experiments» in the Science, Education and Culture Committees of the National Council (SECC-N).

Argumentation regarding the parliamentary initiative 18.491 (in German)

Read the decision of the advisory commission of the National Council (in German)


23.05.2019: The focus article of the SAMS Bulletin 2/2019 is dedicated to the topic of ethics of animal experimentation (in German).

Bewilligungsverfahren für Tierversuche: Strengere Kontrollen oder mehr Eigenverantwortung?



Annual reports

The annual reports of the Ethics Committee for Animal Experimentation are available in German




lic. theol., dipl. biol. Sibylle Ackermann
Head Department Ethics