Careful breeding planning in mice

Breeding planning, Breeding calculators, Production breeds, Conservation breeds, Backcrossings, Breeds to generate new genetic models, Weaning rate, Punnett square-calculator

Killing a vertebrate animal without good reason is a crime in Germany. In experimental animal facilities, where animals are bred, so-called surplus animals are usually produced, that cannot be used for scientific purposes. According to the assessment of the "National Committee TierSchG", such surplus animals can be killed in principle, if there is no possibility of keeping them in a species-appropriate manner, but the research institution must prove, among other things, that all reasonable measures were taken in advance during the breeding planning to avoid the creation of surplus animals. Avoiding breeding surpluses by careful breeding planning is an important 3R measure and is also essential for economic reasons.

This presentation represents a recommendation describing appropriate tools for breeding planning and applying these tools to specific breedings. Methodological requirements for careful breeding planning are seen in the documentation of reasons/causes for killing animals, in the calculation of the weaning rate of murine colonies as well as in the use of breeding calculators and an appropriate Punnett square calculator. Based on these techniques, recommendations are made for planning production breeding, conservation breeding, backcrossing, and breeding to create new genetic models.

Author profile

Kurt Reifenberg studied Veterinary Medicine in Munich and did his doctoral thesis at the “Institute of Physiology, Physiological Chemistry and  Animal Nutrition” of the University of Munich. From Sep 1989 to Sep 1999 he worked as a clinical veterinarian at the Laboratory Animal Research Unit of the University of Ulm. From Oct 1999 to Mar 2012 he was head of the centralized laboratory animal facility of Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz. From Apr 2012 on he is heading the Center for Preclinical Research of the DKFZ in Heidelberg.
Kurt Reifenberg holds a honorary professorship at the University of Mainz and is a Diplomate of the ECLAM.

Further Information

The calculators presented in the lecture can be downloaded from the website of the University of Heidelberg!


Breeding optimisation (calculators download) - Uni Heidelberg


Sorgfältige Zuchtplanung bei der Maus (German)
Careful breeding planning for the mouse (English)

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