Münster (upm/nor)

Non-approved keeping of animals: Münster University Commission to investigate accusations

Decision taken by Rectorate / Commission to be headed by lawyer Prof. Janbernd Oebbecke
<address>© WWU/Peter Grewer</address>
© WWU/Peter Grewer

The Rectorate at the University of Münster has decided to set up an internal Commission of Enquiry to investigate the accusations made in connection with a non-approved room for laboratory mice at the Faculty of Medicine. The Commission, which will include biologists and animal welfare experts, is to start work in the next few days. It will be headed by Prof. Janbernd Oebbecke, an expert on public law and Dean of the Faculty of Law at Münster University.

The aim of the Commission, working with the relevant authorities, will be above all to establish the facts and to assist the authorities in their work as far as necessary. In addition, the members of the Commission are to make proposals on how such occurrences can be prevented in future, and whether any sanctions are to be imposed on individual people involved.

“We will do everything we can to ensure a speedy, comprehensive investigation into the accusations. It is very much in our interest that there should be a thorough review,” said Prof. Johannes Wessels, Rector of the University. This, he added, is also in the interests of the great majority of scientists at Münster University who respect the stringent regulations governing procedures for animal experiments and who take a responsible attitude towards the issue.

Last Tuesday (20 June), after receiving an anonymous tip-off, the Faculty of Medicine discovered a non-approved room for keeping animals in. The Faculty thereupon informed the Veterinary Department of the City of Münster. A representative from the Department then, on the same day, confiscated the 77 mice which were being kept there.