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The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Hochschulmedizin has criticized the inclusion of animal welfare in the constitution. The physicians fear that in individual cases animal protection could conflict with the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of research - with the consequence that every researcher has to prove that he can only achieve his goals with animal experiments. Then numerous research projects would fizzle out or be relocated abroad, because one can not open up new scientific ground from proven factual knowledge. The working group believes that scientific research on animals is ethical and imperative. This applies to clinical drug testing, basic research and occupational safety. Incorporating animal welfare into the constitution would create risks that could not be underestimated for the future prevention and control of diseases such as cancer or heart attack. The researchers therefore demand that a clause be inserted in the law which makes it clear that animal experiments in the service of science are not impeded.

Hans Groth

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