The Status of Laboratory Animal Production and Visions in the 21st Century - Review -

  • Gartner, K. (Department for Laboratoy Animal Science, Medical School Hannover)
  • Published : 1999.11.01


Today, laboratory animal production has decreased world-wide to half the number estimated in 1970 of more than 100 Mio. This is due to the cell-biological assays which replaced animal experimentation as a first allround method to solve biomedical problems. Animal experimentation remains the most significant experimental method for the study of higher organized physiological systems and their multifactorial connections. This requires maximal uniformity of all quantitative traits among the animals used for such studies (mainly mice and rats) and stability of these traits for reproducing such studies at any time world-wide. The success of the developed methods for the standardization of laboratory animals was analyzed and were found only partly be acceptable. Getting a higher degree of uniformity among standardized inbred animals is blocked by "intangible variance". This is caused by influences of ooplasm, shown by experimental twin and clone studies. Manipulation of this component of variance is essential in the future. - Genetic drifts impair the necessary stability of biological traits. There are a few disadvantages associated with the cryopreservation of embryos and other methods are required. - Dogs and cats were replaced by pigs as laboratory animals. A new line of animal production will evolve over the next 25 years with similarities to the present laboratory animal production, because in future pigs were used as donors for xenotransplants for men.

Cited by

  1. Preclinical testing on insects predicts human haematotoxic potentials vol.43, pp.4, 2009,