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8,000 more animals saved in Ukraine

Now 4,475 frogs, rats, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, dogs and cats as well as 3,633 invertebrates, adding up to more than 8,000 animals all told, will now be saved each year from an agonising death.

In October 2009, our Ukrainian project partner Dimitrij Leporskij of InterNICHE Ukraine and Dr. Corina Gericke signed contracts with seven institute heads in three cities. The universities were equipped with animal-free teaching resources such as videos and computer programs, as well as hardware such as laptops and video projectors. In return they are giving up the corresponding animal experiments. 

Our successful concept is attracting considerable attention. Shortly after our visit, six further teachers from other institutes or universities in the previously visited cities Odessa, Simferopol and Dnipropetrovsk expressed their wish to take part. 

Once again considerable preparation was necessary. Based on the often comprehensive lists of experiments conducted on animals, the multimedia programs were selected and ordered, mostly in the United States or the United Kingdom. InterNICHE donated a range of software alternatives.

In March 2010, Dimitrij Leporskij and Dr. Corina Gericke once again set out on the strenuous journey, visiting the three cities in three days. Each day was booked out with meetings and the trip to the next city was made on the night train. 

In each city we visited both the lecturers with whom we had signed the contracts in October 2009 and the “new” ones who had more recently been acquired by word of mouth. For the “older” ones we had brought additional humane teaching resources. There was also the opportunity to gather first impressions of the use of the resources. The “new” university teachers were given the training tools and hardware we had brought with us. 

The harmful animal use conducted at these universities is shocking not only due to the staggering numbers, but also to the extreme cruelty of the experiments. Electrodes are used to make measurements in cats’ brains, and rats’ cerebella or thyroid glands are removed in order to study the effects. 

These cruel tests will now longer be conducted, following a short transition phase. 

Thanks to our project, a total of more than 9,800 vertebrate and 3,600 invertebrate animals will no longer be killed each year. The total costs for computers, projectors, models and software add up to about 20,000 euros. 
 

Year

City

Faculty / department

Number of animals

2008

Sumy

Veterinary medicine

900

2008

L'viv

Biology

225

2008

Ivano-Frankivsk

Medicine

470

2009

Kiev

Veterinary medicine

60

2009

Simferopol

Biology - Physiology

327

2009

Simferopol

Sports

434

2009

Dnipropetrowsk

Medicine

1,840

2009

Odessa

Biology – Physiology, Zoology, Hydrobiology, Genetics

1,073

2010

Odessa

Medicine

1,000

2010

Odessa

Biology - Biochemistry

105

2010

Simferopol

Medicine

1,400

2010

Simferopol

Biology - Zoology

120

2010

Dnipropetrovsk

Biology - Physiology

1,387

2010

Dnipropetrovsk

Biology - Zoology

463

Total

 

 

9,804


+ 3,633 invertebrates including snails, insects, earthworms, crayfish, squid and others.  

Odessa



Prof. Alexiy Shandra of the Department of Physiology at the Odessa State Medical University, shown here with the donated materials, has a great interest in humane teaching. He attended the InterNICHE conference in Brussels as early as 2001. Earlier, alterations to the syllabus were not permitted, but since that was made possible he has already replaced a great many experiments with films and simulations. Originally about 3,300 animals were experimented on each year, which he has already reduced to “only” 1,000 animals. Thanks to our project, this number will now be reduced to zero. 


Dimitrij Leporskij (right) demonstrates the computer programs that have been provided. Especially the films we had dubbed in Russian are always received with unmitigated enthusiasm, and their superior quality has been praised many times. 


In Odessa, we also signed a contract with the Head of the Department of Biochemistry at the Odessa National University. 105 rats and mice will now no longer be killed at this institute.

Simferopol


Dr. Mikhail Yurakhno, Head of the Department of Zoology at the National University of Simferopol, and Dr. Corina Gericke sign the contract which will save 120 rats and frogs as well as 380 invertebrates in the future.

Until now, 1,200 frogs and 200 mice were killed each year as part of students’ education in the Department of Physiology at the State Medical University of Simferopol. That has now come to an end. 


Department Head Prof. Elena Evstafyeva and an assistant with the donated humane teaching resources: a video projector, various simulation programs and models for practising surgical sutures. 

 

 
A glimpse of the animal holding facilities at the University of Simferopol. 

Dnipropetrovsk 


The lecturers at the Department of Human and Animal Physiology at the Biological Faculty of the National University of Dnipropetrovsk told us that they already wanted to adopt animal-free teaching methods five years ago, but didn’t know how. They sought help, but found none. In October 2009 they heard about our project via the Medical University and are glad and grateful that they can at last do away with animal testing without the students’ education suffering. 

1,387 rats, frogs, dogs and cats will now be saved each year.

At the same university we also signed a contract with the Department of Zoology. Previously 463 vertebrates (sharks, snakes, frogs, pigeons, rats etc.) and more than 3,000 invertebrates (cockchafers and other insects, squids, starfish, shellfish, crabs, earthworms etc.) were killed each year in order to study their structures. 

Viktor Gasso, Head of the Department, is also interested in animal-free research methods and intends to apply for EU funding so that he can purchase technical apparatuses, such as a mass spectrometer. 


Prof. Olena Severynovs’ka, Head of the Department of Physiology (centre) and Viktor Gasso, Head of the Department of Zoology at the Faculty for Biology, Ecology and Medicine of the National University of Dnipropetrovsk, with Dr. Corina Gericke (left).

Stray dogs and dolphinariums

Our project in Ukrainian universities saves the lives of thousands of animals each year. However, there are further severe animal welfare problems in the second largest European country after Russia. 

The most pressing problem are the countless stray dogs that inhabit the streets of the cities. It is common practice to get rid of pets by abandoning them. The animals feed on rubbish or are fed by animal-friendly people, for example here on the grounds of the University of Dnipropetrovsk. 

 
Since no-one takes care of birth control, the animals’ breeding rate is uncontrolled. The only steps taken by the state to deal with the uncontrolled reproduction are regular cullings. Tatiana, Assistant Professor at the Medical Faculty, told us that dogs are killed in broad daylight using poisoned darts. Even dogs on leashes have been killed while being taken for a walk. The killing squads don’t care. A dog is a dog. The few private animal sanctuaries hardly get by.


What especially disturbed us in the past one or two years is the heavy advertising for dolphinariums throughout the whole country. These are not even solid basins, but stationary circus tents! This kind of entertainment is not subject to any constraints whatsoever in Ukraine and is allowed to spread entirely unhindered. 

There is much to be done. Our project not only directly saves animals’ lives but also sows small seeds. Small seeds of hope and humanity towards animals.

We would be delighted to receive support for our projects in Eastern Europe >>

Further information

Overview of the whole project (in German) >>

Trilingual Website (German, Ukrainian, Russian)