Statement of the Max Planck Society
The public prosecutor Tübingen has today announced that penalty orders charges were brought against three employees of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. The district court of Tübingen has confirmed that penalty orders were issued. Prof. Logothetis has advised the Max Planck Society that he has appealed the penalty order issued against him.
At the centre of the public prosecutor's investigation was the question of whether three animals used in experiments, after the onset of clinical symptoms, should have been euthanized earlier.
While the outcome of these proceedings remains uncertain, in keeping with the Society's commitment to the highest standards of animal care, the Executive Committee of the Max Planck Society has been assured that Prof. Logothetis will not perform animal research or issue orders to Institute personnel to do so until the case is resolved. The Managing Director of the Institute, Prof. Dr. Heinrich H. Bülthoff, will exercise the relevant authority until further notice.
In its declaration of principle ('White Paper') published in early 2017, the Max Planck Society has laid down binding standards for animal research within its organisation. In particular, the paper acknowledges the special responsibility of each individual scientist for the animals used in research. The Max Planck Society expects their scientists to meet these responsibilities.