Replacing animal use in teaching in Eastern European universities

Prof. Dr. David Dewhurst 
College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Hugh Robson Building, 15 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9XD, UK

Prof. Dr. Zvesdana Z. Kojic, MD
University of Belgrade, School of Medicine, Insitute of Physiology, Visegradska 26, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

To explore ways in which the successful introduction of alternatives (computer-based and other) into the curricula could significantly reduce the number of animals used in teaching physiology and pharmacology in Eastern and Central European* universities 
(*for the purposes of this proposal these include: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Montenegro, Turkey and Russia.)

Project deliverables:

1.     An analysis of the current use of animals in teaching in university departments (e.g. pharmacology, physiology, veterinary medicine, pathology);

2.     Recommendations from the stakeholders about the alternative methods most likely to significantly reduce animal use in teaching in their universities;

3.     An analysis of the perceived major ‘barriers’ and ‘drivers’ to successful implementation of alternatives in teaching;

4.     Creation of a consortium of academic teachers committed to implementing and evaluating the usefulness of alternatives to using animals in teaching in their universities;

5.     Mini-trial of the use of at least one commercially-available computer-based alternative to replace a laboratory practical class which uses animals in each university represented. Monitoring and evaluation of this process will yield useful experience and data about the ‘dos and don’ts’ of successful implementation.

6.     A fully-costed proposal to be submitted to DZF in 2009 to implement the recommendations of the workshop.