Animal species

The animal species used in research at TNO are shown in Table 2. The species used for a specific test depends on the predictive value for humans or on legislation. Traditionally rodents (mice, rats and guinea pigs) have mainly been used given the plentiful availability of historical data. However, rodents are not always the best model for humans and so other species and transgenic mice are sometimes used. The use of animal models with better predictability towards the human situation prevents unnecessary testing.

In 2018 TNO almost exclusively used rodents in its research, mice (89%), guinea pigs (9%) and rats (2%). Over four fifth of the mice are transgenic mice. Since these animals contain a human gene, they are suitable for research into human diseases. TNO breeds most of these specific mice itself. A key aspect here is to use the animals that are born as efficiently as possible, and one way that TNO achieves this is to coordinate the breeding centrally so that demand and supply are matched as much as possible, thus attempting to avoid surplus animals being bred.

Table 2: Animal species and numbers used TNO 2018

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