About the committee
The Norwegian national committee “Forsøksdyrkomitéen” was established to fulfill the requirements of Directive 2010/63/EU, Article 49:
National committees for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes
- Each Member State shall establish a national committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. It shall advise the competent authorities and animal-welfare bodies on matters dealing with the acquisition, breeding, accommodation, care and use of animals in procedures and ensure sharing of best practice.
- The national committees referred to in paragraph 1 shall exchange information on the operation of animal-welfare bodies and project evaluation and share best practice within the Union.
The committee is independent and was appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority provides the secretariat for the committee.
Chair: Tore S. Kristiansen
Tore S. Kristiansen has a PhD in fisheries biology from University of Bergen, He has worked as a researcher and scientist at Institute of Marine Research since 1987, and been the leader of research group Animal Welfare since 2007. He has been leading two EU-projects and a row of national projects related to fish welfare. He was member of The Norwegian Council for Animal Ethics from 2012-15.
Espen Engh graduated as a veterinarian and Doctor of Science in Laboratory Animal Science from the Norwegian College of Veterinary Medicine. He has worked in laboratory animal departments at the same college as well as the Radium Hospital and the University of Oslo. He has served as secretary of the National Committee for Laboratory Animals, as head of section for animal welfare in the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and as director general for the Norwegian National Ethics Committees. He is currently working as administrative manager for the Department of Comparative Medicine at the University of Oslo.
Susanna Lybæk is a zoologist and scientific adviser at Dyrevernalliansen (the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance). Susanna was deputy member of the Norwegian Animal Research Authority from 2013-2015, and is a board member of Norecopa. She teaches Laboratory Animal Science at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).
Kathrine A. Ryeng
Kathrine A. Ryeng is veterinary scientist at the Institute of Marine Research, Tromsø, where she is responsible for research and advice on animal welfare in marine mammals related to different anthropogenic activities and threats. In her doctoral work she focused on “Reduction”, one of the three Rs, through development of a new clinical trial design. She has also worked with development of animal welfare legislation, including legislation related to experimental animals.
Kristine Hansen is a veterinarian and works as an assistant professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. There she has had two terms as a local competent person (LCP) and is in charge of teaching in Laboratory Animal Science for veterinarian nurse students, veterinarian students, technicians and researchers. She also works in the university’s Training Clinic with alternatives.
Jenny Mattisson has a PhD in Wildlife Ecology from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and has been working as a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) since 2011. She has a broad background in field-based wildlife research on wild animals, with a specialization in carnivores and large raptors.
Animals used for scientific purposes in Norway
There are about 90 laboratory animal facilities in Norway where animals are kept and used for research and education. In addition, research is conducted on wild animals in their natural environment, i.e. outside animal facilities. More than one million animals are used in research each year, of which more than 90% are fish. In 2018, 1,686,658 animals were reported used in scientific procedures in Norway. Of these, some 1,593,191 animals were fish, with salmon being the main group, with 922,824 individuals. Fish cover a large research area within applied-, biomedical- and basic research. Among mammals, mice constituted the largest group with 63,058 individuals. Mice are often used in basic research, for example genetically modified mice are used to study human diseases.
In 2010, a new EU directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes came into force. The directive was incorporated into the EEA Agreement, and implemented in Norway as a new regulation pertaining to the use of animals in procedures. The regulation came into force in 2015. The main goal of this legislation is to promote the principles of the 3R`s: Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement, and to promote good animal welfare and high research quality. The regulation states that all researchers who want to use animals in procedures must apply for approval to the competent authority, which in Norway is the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
In addition, the directive states that each member state shall establish a national committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. It shall advise the competent authorities and animal-welfare bodies on matters dealing with the acquisition, breeding, accommodation, care and use of animals in procedures and ensure sharing of best practice.