Experiments with animals present an ethical dilemma for scientists: on the one hand, they are trying to create new knowledge, treat diseases, and alleviate human suffering, while on the other hand they want to protect the animals' lives. There is no satisfactory solution to this conflict, as long as animal studies are often the only way to gain insights into the processes in nature.
Whenever possible, non-animal methods such as cell cultures, computer models and studies on human volunteers are used at the Max Planck Institutes. The method which is best suited to answer the respective scientific question is always chosen. Only when there is no alternative to the use of animals do scientists rely on experiments with living animals.
The Max Planck Society acknowledges its responsibility for the welfare of the animals kept in its laboratories. Animal welfare, the best possible holding conditions and responsible treatment are not only ethical obligations, but also a perquisite for obtaining valid scientific results.