The Experiments on Animals Act allows for the adoption of former laboratory animals, under certain strict conditions.

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Annually, very few large laboratory animals at Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht are available for adoption. These animals are usually rehomed with employees or students.

Rodents (especially mice and rats) are rehomed in collaboration with Het Knagertje in The Hague. If you are considering adopting rodents, you can ask for information or register there.

After rehoming ex-trial animals (such as rats and mice), we want to ensure their welfare. We have therefore made this video why we explain to adopters about the symptoms they may encounter if their rat or mouse is sick. We also made this Prezi (interactive presentation) where you can read about rat behavior and how best to get your ex-lab rats used to their new environment.


  • The animal is suitable for adoption (healthy, not aggressive, properly socialised, etc.).
  • The welfare of the animal is guaranteed.
  • There is no danger to public health, the health of the animal, or the environment.

The animal welfare officers are responsible for evaluating whether these conditions have been met and for advising on the proper care and accommodation for the animal after adoption.

As Animal Welfare Body Utrecht, we follow the rehoming advisory report of the Netherlands National Committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (NCad) and our policy on surplus laboratory animals reuse and rehoming, which is based on the former advice, on behalf of Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht.