A campaign by Djurrättsalliansen Sweden: STOP SWECCLIM! (Swedish Experimental Clinical Center for Large-Animal Innovative Models)


The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) together with Uppsala University (UU), the Swedish Veterinary Institute (SVA), Karolinska Institutet (KI), the University of Gothenburg (GU) / Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Linköping University (LiU) plan to create a new national infrastructure for clinical and experimental studies in large animal models. It will be called SWECCLIM (Swedish Experimental Clinical Center for Large-Animal Innovative Models). The proposed infrastructure will provide Sweden with a facility that can conduct long-term studies in large animals.

Lab dogs at SLU, Uppsala, Sweden, Photo: Djurrättsalliansen


They plan to use dogs, cats, primates, goats, pigs, horses, sheep and cows in animal experiments and anticipate that the number of experiments (short and long-term studies, studies in natural spontaneous models and Non-human primates) at SWECCLIM will be up to 600 annually. The plan is to have SWECCLIM fully operational by 2023.

The physical infrastructure will be located at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala and will be closely integrated with an existing major node at the Hedenstierna Laboratory at Uppsala University. Other nodes linked to the organization of this infrastructure should include SVA, GU and KI. The SLU node is specialized in the management of large animals and will hold facilities for long-term studies, surgical training for medical and veterinary students, regulatory training in 3R using large animals, and specialist training for physicians, nurses and veterinarians.

Primates held at AFL, Stockholm, Sweden, Photo: KI


SWECCLIM is not limited to a certain research question, but focuses on developing large animal models within the proposed framework/infrastructure. They plan to use animals in experiments in several fields like xenotransplants between pigs and primates, antibiotic resistance, infectious diseases, cancer, ageing, orthopedics, sports medicine, soft tissue surgery, traumatology, cardiology, nutrition, obesity, diabetes and phenotyping. The concentration of advanced large animal research in SWECCLIM that includes experimental models, natural models with spontaneous disease and research on primates, to one infrastructure is essential for development optimization and innovation.

Lab dogs at SLU, Uppsala, Sweden, Photo: Djurrättsalliansen


The Swedish Research Council has conducted an opinion survey on animal experiments, to find out the attitudes of the public to animal experiment issues. Just over 1 000 persons, aged 16 or older, were questioned in September 2018. In the survey, published in april 2019, just over half (55 per cent) of the public consider that animal experiments are acceptable in medical research. The more in-depth follow-up questions showed that seven out of ten (73 per cent) would not accept animal experiments in dogs or cats. Public attitudes continue to evolve in Sweden and indeed throughout the EU. For example, more than one million EU citizens supported the European Citizens Initiative ”Stop Vivisection” that was submitted to the EU parliament and EU Commission in 2015. Although the ECI was rejected by the European Commission, it is important to note that for the first time ever, EU citizens based their objections to animal experiments on both ethical and scientific grounds.

There is also the issue of public funding. The project requires around 90 million SEK  (8 500 000 €) in public funds (taxpayers money). In view of current public opinion against the use of larger animals such as dogs, cats, and non human primates, and in view of the considerable amount of taxpayer funding required for this project, it is important that a government sponsored public inquiry be held to take into account current public opinion before any decision is made on whether to approve the project.

In the end of September, The Swedish Research Council rejected their application for the funding of the amount of MSEK 90 for the coordination of existing competencies and skills to form a joint national research infrastructure for clinical and experimental research using large animal models.

Lab dog at SLU, Uppsala, Sweden, Photo: Djurrättsalliansen


How you can help us stop SWECCLIM in SWEDEN:

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IBAN: SE98 9500 0099 6042 0425 4116
NAME OF ACCOUNT: Djurrättsalliansen
BANK: Nordea

Join Djurrättsalliansen to stop SWECCLIM: Volunteers are needed for public education, outreach, postering, leafletting, letter writing, researching, fundraising, event coordination, graphic design, filming and video editing.