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New building for animal experiments

The Faculty of Medicine at Lund University is investing in a new building, Comparative Medicine Unit (CMU), for animal experiments with mice and rats ­– a facility that will be the most modern of its kind in Sweden.

Why CMU?

The high-quality premises will ensure the health of the animals in the best possible way. This will also lead to an even higher quality of medical research being conducted with the support of animal experiments.

The aim is not to increase the number of animal experiments but to improve them. The faculty needs premises that are future-proof and fit for purpose to guarantee the health status of the animals and to provide optimal conditions for animal experiments. The faculty will therefore build a new animal building that facilitates high-quality research based on strict ethical animal experimentation principles.

A long-term goal according to both Swedish and European legislation is to replace animal experiments with animal-free methods. The road to get there goes via the three R principle: that is, to replace, reduce and refine animal testing. The new animal building will provide the faculty with even better opportunities to follow the three R principle.  The CMU will contribute to the faculty’s researchers being able to reduce both the number of experiments and to refine the experiments that are conducted.

Sweden has strict legislation on animal experiments. The Faculty of Medicine is committed to abide by all laws and requirements and the development of the CMU is an important part of this work.

One problem with the current premises is the risk for infection among the mice and rats that are kept there. In worst-case scenarios, a spread of infection can lead to all the animals in the premises having to be euthanised. At the CMU, the infection-sensitive breeding activities will be located completely separately, which will significantly reduce the risks. Moving the breeding unit to the CMU also provides an opportunity to develop the existing premises with the aim of integrating them with other research infrastructure.

The CMU will also provide an improved physical work environment for staff.

What is included in the CMU?

The CMU will be composed of two separate units in the same building, located at Science Village, Brunnshög, in northeast Lund. One of the units is a breeding unit where only breeding of mice will take place.

The other unit is a so-called flex unit with several functions. Among others things, it comprises a holding facility for imported and potentially infected animals and pilot studies.

Facts about the Comparative Medicine Unit (CMU)

At the CMU there will primarily be mice and possibly a small percentage of rats. The premises will have a capacity for between 20 000 – 35 000 animals. Construction started in May 2019 the building will be finished in December 2021. The total floor area will be 6 600 m².