Belarusian universities are disclaiming experiments on animals!
December 16-18, 2015, the Republican Scientific-Practical Conference with International participation "Global Bioethics in a social dimension: education and enlightment of youth" has taken place in Minsk.
The event was organized by International Sakharov Environmental Institute of Belarusian State University (ISEI BSU) in partnership with the Belarusian Association of UNESCO Clubs, as well as the Center for the Ethical Attitude Towards Nature.
The conference was attended by leading scientists, teachers and community leaders who came from different parts of Belarus to present interesting speeches on various aspects of bioethics - the science of ethical attitude towards all living beings.
Separate day of the conference on December 17 was dedicated to the replacement of animal experiments on humane alternatives in education. That day was held on the initiative of the Centre “Eсoetika.by” and support of the International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals - IAAPEA (UK).
Such universisties as the Belarusian State Medical University, Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno, Grodno State Medical and Agrarian Universities, as well as Polessky State University have shared by the experience of successful implementation of the alternatives. These universities made a revolution in education - they completely abandoned the use of animal experiments in training of students.
We would like to note the achievements of ISEI. For many years at the Department of Environmental Medicine on the initiative of one of ISEI professors Inna Merkulova students also do not have to torture animals during the study, because educational program includes only humane methods.
To our great joy, Department of Human and Animal Physiology at the Biological Faculty of BSU a few years ago excluded experiments on animals from educational process.
Professors and heads of the above-mentioned universities claim that the replacement of laboratory animals on computer programs and another modern teaching means not only saves the life of experimental animals, but also provides the benefit to students, promoting a more efficient method of learning the educational information that, in turn, influences by the best way to academic progress of students.
We should say that the special interest to the conference was introduced due to its special guests: representatives of VITA Animal Rights Center (Russia), as well as organizations InterNICHE (UK) and "Doctors against animal experiments" (Germany). Irina Novozhilova, the president of VITA and Dmitry Leporsky, a representative of the other two organizations in the Ukraine, shared the experience of progressive implementation of humane alternatives in post-Soviet countries such as Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Dmitry Leporsky and his colleagues, Vadim Danko and Maxim Kolonok demonstrated to the conference participants the latest animal alternatives in the field of teaching the different disciplines: normal and pathological physiology, pharmacology, zoology, surgery and others.
Now we hope that this successful baton on the introduction of humane alternatives will be taken by all natural sciences universities of Belarus, which once renouncing cruel and pointless experiments on animals will be able to benefit as themselves, raising its prestige and status, as well as animals, causing no harm to them, and of course, the students while respecting their right to humane education.
Special thanks we would like to say to devotee of Bioethics in Belarus, ISEU Professor Tatsiana Mishatkina, which was one of the main initiators of the conference and its most active organizer.
The author: Ludmila Loginovskaya