The First Era of the D.Z.F. - The First Foundations (1985-1993)

In the year 1985, H. Doerenkamp and G. Zbinden created the first foundation in the canton of Graubünden in Chur. It’s task was to award prizes for exceptional achievements in animal protection in biomedical research.

In the following year another foundation was created with a second donation, the revenues of which went to support research into reducing the suffering of experimental animals. The proceeds of the donation financed salaries of scientific and technical personnel, but also appliances, consumable supplies and teaching materials.

Both foundations were headed by G. Zbinden in scientific and H. Doerenkamp in financial aspects. These two foundations continued in parallel until 1993.

During that time, substantial projects got underway: numerous posts for scientific education (e.g. Dr. Peter Kistler) as well as technical staff (e.g. Dr. Michael Müller and Mrs Pia Reiser) were financed at the Institute for Toxicology in Schwerzenbach. Appliances, e.g. a patch-clamp stand for Prof. Dr. Gähwiler’s research on stroke was purchased, smaller appliances were procured and numerous investigations on the use of experimental animals were performed:

G. Zbinden and Prof. D. Neubert analysed the use of beagles in research into the risks of breast cancer and achieved the elimination of these experiments. It was G. Zbinden’s suggestion toward the end of the first era of the foundation to award smaller research support grants of CHF 30 000.- to 60 000.- for up to two years to research proposals evaluated by the foundation’s board.