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First Middle East Seminar on Alternatives to Animal Experiments

A major initiative to promote and implement replacement alternatives across North Africa and the Middle East is taking place in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday 27th February 2010.

The First North Africa and Middle East Seminar on Alternatives to Animal Experiments in Education and Training is being organised by InterNICHE and the Egyptian Society of Animal Friends (ASAF), and brings together teachers, researchers, campaigning organisations and others from over 10 countries.

The Alternatives Seminar builds on the experience of InterNICHE outreach tours and alternatives demonstrations by dovetailing the organisation’s collective skills and resources with the initiatives and local knowledge of campaigners and teachers in the host country.

Following an introduction and review of the Egyptian situation by Ahmed Alsherbiny of ESAF and Abdulrady Hassan Almaraghy of Alazhar University, other international and Egyptian experts will provide lectures and demonstrations on humane education and the process of replacement of harmful animal use.

InterNICHE Co-ordinator Nick Jukes will introduce the range and quality of alternatives and explain the organisation’s commitment to the 1R of replacement to help guarantee ethical and effective acquisition of knowledge and skills.

Neurosurgeon Emad Aboud from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Swaida National Hospital in Syria will explain the advantages of surgery training using perfused and ethically sourced cadavers. Veterinarian Fawzy Elnady from the University of Cairo will address information and communications technology in relation to alternatives. Discussing plastination and software production, he will also demonstrate a new camel anatomy software.

InterNICHE National Contact Snehal Bhavsar from India will describe her strategies for catalysing curricular change across the state of Gujarat, including her success in achieving up to 80% reduction of animal use in education. Nagla Zaky Elalfy from Ain Shams University will share her experience of in vitro labs for student practical classes, and Mohammed Abdulmonen Bashandy from Misr International University will discuss the process of statistical analysis to support reduction. Mohelden Abdulhaleem from Alazhar University will contribute by discussing media ethics in the treatment of using experimental animals.

Other National Contacts will contribute in absentia: Sofia Ponce from Mexico will present the vision and activities of the Center for Animal Alternatives in Education (CAAE) program at the University of Guadalajara; Siri Martinsen from Norway will explain the rationale for seeing caring as an essential clinical skill which must be placed at the heart of veterinary and medical training; and Sepehr Shafiezadeh from Iran will talk about the challenges of alternatives campaigning in his country.

Demonstrations and hands-on experience of alternatives across the disciplines will include a range of software, models, mannekins and simulators, including the POP-trainer (Optimist) for live surgical training without animal experiments, and the use of self-experimentation as an alternative in physiology practical classes. This will be followed by distribution of resources to the participants, including of freeware and other low-cost or no-cost alternatives. InterNICHE works with teachers and producers of alternatives to encourage the freeing of learning tools from license restrictions and limited geographical availability. The widespread free distribution of alternatives at the seminar follows a strategy used successfully by InterNICHE in Africa and India.

Finally, discussion workshops will address the opportunities and challenges within the region, including identification of resources. These include the imperatives within religion and secular ethical thought that support respect for life and the replacement of harmful animal use. The talks and diverse international perspectives will encourage the participants to reflect on culturally-appropriate strategies for the introduction of alternatives in their countries.

Notes:

(1) The organisation of the event has been made possible thanks to the financial support of the Anti-Vivisection Union (South Australia) and the International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals (IAAPEA) (UK), with further financial input from InterNICHE and the Middle Eastern Network for Animal Welfare (MENAW).

(2) Countries represented include Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan and Syria, as well as England, India and the USA. Networking will share the seminar experience and resources to the remaining countries in North Africa and the Middle East.

(3) The camel anatomy software production is being funded by InterNICHE and Dutch organisation Proefdiervrij.

(4) Previous InterNICHE outreach tours have included the training of over 400 teachers in 10 cities across India (2004), and a 5-country tour of Latin America with over 30 seminars and meetings (2008). Other tours and events by have taken replacement alternatives to teachers and students across the world. In Italy the InterNICHE Multimedia Exhibition at the VII World Congress on Alternatives (2009) showcased a range of teaching and training tools from the InterNICHE Alternatives Loan System. This library is providing over 100 software alternatives, models, mannekins and simulators for demonstration at the event in Egypt.

(5) The Alternatives Seminar precedes a 3-day animal protection conference organised by MENAW.


Nick Jukes
InterNICHE Co-ordinator

98 Clarendon Park Road
Leicester LE2 3AE
England

tel: +44 116 210 9652
mobile: +44 7552 972 770

e-mail: coordinator@interniche.org
web: www.interniche.org



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