Rules on animal testing and research

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

In the Netherlands, you need both an establishment licence and a project licence to carry out tests involving animals. Breeders only need an establishment licence. You apply for an establishment licenceExternal link to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Warenautoriteit, NVWA, in Dutch). The Central Animal Testing Committee (Centrale Commissie Dierproeven, CCD) issues the project licenceExternal link.

The Experiments on Animals Act (Wet op de Dierproeven) describes the purposes for which animal tests may be carried out (e.g. vaccine testing). The Act includes requirements regarding the expertise of the researchers and animal keepers involved and the housing and care of the laboratory animals.

Laboratory animals

Tests may only be carried out on animals specially bred for that purpose. Certain species of non-human primates may not be used in animal tests. Commercial establishments that breed laboratory animals and supply them to animal testing organisations need a licence to do so.

Ban on animal testing for cosmetics

Animal testing for cosmetics is banned in the European UnionExternal link. The ban includes:

  • animal testing for cosmetics;
  • animal testing for the ingredients of cosmetics;
  • trading in cosmetic products which have been tested on animals.

Animal Tests Committee recommendation

Once you submit a research plan, the Animal Tests Committee (dierexperimentencommissie, DEC) will consider your application. If the committee issues a positive recommendation, the CCD will issue a project license. The NVWA checks whether you adhere to the rules during animal testing.


You must send an annual report to NVWA regarding the animal tests you have carried out. This report must state the purpose of the test, the breed and number of laboratory animals used, the techniques employed and the extent to which the animals were subjected to stress.

Online application procedure via Message Box

You can apply online for an animal testing licence from the Central Animal Testing Committee using Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO