Under preclinical research/trials we mean laboratory tests of a new drug substance or medical devices, usually done on animals, to see whether the treatment really works and it is safe to test on humans.

It is allowed to use animals at procedures if it is not banned by the law and if there are no available alternative methods. According to the law, ‘procedure’ means any use, invasive or non-invasive, of an animal for an experimental or other scientific purposes, with a known or unknown outcome, or educational purposes. The use of animals in scientific purposes is strictly regulated and a number of restrictions are imposed. In order to carry out a project, an application for project authorisation has to be submitted to the Ministry of Rural Affairs by the user or the person responsible for the project.

The Laboratory Animal Centre of the University of Tartu develops and studies advanced disease models with a specific focus on psychiatric, neurological diseases, chronic immune/inflammatory diseases and tumour therapy, and combines these research areas with modern bioimaging technologies.

About keeping of experimental animals (The Veterinary and Food Board)