The first round table in Belarus devoted to the problem of experiments on animals was held on the site of the WikiPet portal
July 19, 2018 at the portal siteWikipetru the first round table in Belarus devoted to the problem of experiments on animals was held. The round table was attended by Anastasia Zhavrid (head of the animal protection center “Animaleks”), Lyudmila Loginovskaya (director of the environmental and cultural educational institution “Center for Ethical Relationship to Nature”), lawyer Irina Sukalo, business representative Nadezhda Nalyvayko, and the head of the portal Wikipet.ru Lyudmila Kotlobay.
In the photo: participants of the first round table in Belarus devoted to the problem of experiments on animals
During the meeting, the roundtable participants identified the main problems that exist in Belarus in the field of experiments on animals, and outlined further steps to solve them.
In the world there are 2 approaches to the problem of experiments on animals:
- Traditional: you can’t do without experiments on animals, this is a valuable source of knowledge.
- Modern: his supporters are sure that experiments on animals do not provide reliable information, since human physiology is very different from animal physiology.
And if in Western countries there are more and more supporters of the second approach, due to which alternatives to animal experiments are being actively introduced, then the situation with animal experiments in Belarus is sad.
Firstly, there is no legislative framework governing the conduct of research, including experiments on animals. The only document that somehow touches on this topic is the hopelessly outdated order of the USSR Ministry of Health No. 755 of 08/12/1977. There are international documents, including the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals (1986), but they have not been ratified in Belarus .
Secondly, the system of using animals in scientific and educational activities is completely opaque and not controlled by society. No one knows for sure under what conditions laboratory animals live and how experiments are conducted (for example, whether pain relief is used).
Thirdly, the further transfer of “used” cats and dogs from vivariums has not been regulated, although there are norms in international practice according to which animals “written off” from laboratories can be attached to families.
In the photo: dogs are often used in Belarus in experiments on animals.
In world practice, experiments on animals are used in 4 areas:
- Drug testing (65% of laboratory animals are involved in this area).
- Scientific research (26%).
- Testing of cosmetics and other products (8%).
- Education (1%).
And if in the EU countries, for example, testing cosmetics on animals is prohibited, in Belarus it is still being carried out.
You must also understand the difference between scientific research and the educational process. In a scientific experiment, something new is discovered, and in the educational process, a previously proven fact is only demonstrated.And more and more people all over the world come to the conclusion that it makes no sense to use animals only to demonstrate already known things - alternative methods are quite suitable for this.
Nevertheless, the situation with animal experiments is changing in Belarus. For example, many teachers and students are happy to abandon animal experiments and welcome the introduction of alternatives. However, this is the problem: if the enthusiasts leave, all the developments in this area are lost.
A lot of work in the field of refusing to use animals in educational activities in Belarus was done by the activists of the Center for Ethical Attitude to Nature Lyudmila Loginovskaya and Tatyana Glinkina in collaboration with teachers and enthusiastic scientists (it is worth noting T.S. Morozkin, T.V. Mishatkin and I. .P. Merkulov) - over the past few years, with the participation of international organizations InterNICH (Great Britain, Ukraine) and IAAPEA (Great Britain), educational events were held in the country's universities that contributed to the rejection of this practice.
Since 2001, at medical universities in Belarus and at the Moscow State Institute of Physics and Technology named after HELL. Sakharov taught the course "Fundamentals of Biomedical Ethics" (though often as an optional course, rather than a required one), and in 2006 the National Committee on Bioethics was created. Alternative methods of testing cosmetics are also being developed and approved at the legislative level. However, the situation is still far from being ideal, but even somewhat acceptable.
In the photo: animal experiments
During the round table, the following steps were outlined to solve the problem with experiments on animals in Belarus:
- Creation of a working group of experts and animal advocates to develop proposals for changing the situation with animal experiments in Belarus.
- Collection of signatures for changes in legislation.
- Preparation of proposals for the Ministry of Health, which is responsible for animal experimentation, and the National Bioethics Committee.