4 more successes in Ukraine and Russia
On the 1st of September, the new academic year begins at the universities of the countries of the former Soviet Union, which then runs until June of the following year. Our contracts with the departments always apply from 1st September. This makes sense, because the transition from traditional animal experiments to modern teaching methods has to be prepared. For 1st September 2018, we have made 4 new agreements in cooperation with InterNICHE: 2 departments in Ukraine (Zhytomyr, Kyiv) and 2 in Russia (Belgorod, Rostov-on-Don).
Dr. Alexander Harbar, head of the Department of Ecology, Nature Management and Human Biology of the Zhytomyr Ivan-Franko State University, Ukraine, was looking for interactive teaching tools and found our trilingual website www.ukraine-projekt.de. His university is technically poorly equipped. The only animal-free teaching materials are old Soviet films and charts. Due to the lack of recourses, the common animal experiments were part of the standard curriculum. With the donated laptop, projector and CDs, Dr. Harbar can not only end all animal experiments in his course, but in addition he can teach his students in a much better and modern way.
Unfortunately, some of his colleagues were of the opinion that without animal experiments it would not be possible to teach animal physiology. Dimitrij Leporskij, our Ukrainian project partner and representative of InterNICHE Ukraine, went to Zhytomyr to convince the teachers. It was difficult, but at the end of a long day everyone agreed and the contract was signed a few days later.
From left to right: Irina Onischuk, Dimitrij Leporskij, Alexander Harbar, Tatyana Mostipaka
645 frogs, around 90 rats, pigeons, snakes and lizards as well as 60 invertebrates like shells and earthworms will be saved every year now. The frogs were decapitated with scissors to study organ functions on their muscles, nerves and hearts; the other animals were killed in the zoology lab to study their anatomy.
In addition to a laptop and a projector, the department received a complete zoology and physiology set with 25 CDs / DVDs. The department is our first cooperation in Zhytomyr, located 150 km west of Kyiv. We hope that the positive experiences with the animal-free education will spread - as it did in many other cities of Ukraine.
In Kyiv, we have already equipped four departments with human teaching tools. Jury Kharkevich, head of the Department of Surgery and Pathophysiology of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kyiv National University of Life and Environmental Sciences, learned about our project from colleagues of the Nemishaevskiy Agrotechnical College. At Dr. Kharkevych's Department, so far every year 340 animals (frogs, guinea pigs, rabbits and mice) were subjected to the worst pathophysiological experiments: Injuries by electric current in rabbits, local tissue damage by strong acids and alkalis, dehydration, hypoxia, and osmotic edema on frogs, and other cruelties were conducted in live animals.
As in Zhytomyr, things did not go as smoothly here as the conservative dean in particular, deeply rooted in old thinking, wasn’t too fond of new-fashioned computers. But soon he will retire and thanks to the pressure of the younger teachers he finally agreed to the contract.
Dimitrij Leporski (middle) with Dr Jury Kharkevich, Dr. Maluk Nikolay, Taras Savchuk and Roman Bokotko (from left to right)
The new interactive pathophysiology program Virtual Pathophysiology in Russian language - a joined project of DAAE and InterNICHE, and funded by us – was finished just in time and proved to be extremely helpful in this particular case. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to provide adequate teaching materials for this course. As a result, we could ensure another great success in this difficult case, as every frog, every mouse, every rabbit that continues to suffer and die in this archaic system is one too many.
Prof. Dr. Tayana Kontsevaya, a teacher at the Belgorod State Agrarian University, Russia, has been working for many years for a humane education in veterinary medicine with the support of the Russian animal rights association VITA and InterNICHE. Thanks to InterNICHE even the dog simulator Jerry could be purchased. Due to the commitment of Dr. Kontsevaya there was hardly any animal use in her department.
The university is well equipped with computers. What was missing for a modern education, is the software. We donated a set of zoology and physiology CDs / DVDs and signed an agreement, which confirms that the Department will be 100% cruelty-free from 1 September 2018.
Belgorod State Agrarian University, Russia
At the Don State Technical University in Rostov-on-Don - with 47,000 students the largest university in Southern Russia region - in 2018 a veterinary faculty was established. Dean Dr. Sergei Khlebunov and the other teachers agreed that the faculty should be completely cruelty-free right from the beginning. They all agreed this as a top priority condition for future specialists. The only thing missing was suitable non-animal teaching materials.
With the help of InterNICHE, the Animal Rights Center Russia VITA and DAAE, "Jerry" was purchased, a full-size dog training mannikin for veterinary students, as well as a large number of computer programs.
On dog mannikin Jerry, veterinary students can practise cardiopulmonary resuscitation, repair bone fractures, and other conditions.
Overview of the whole project (in German) >>