Eastern Europe

Three more departments in Ukraine are switching to humane teaching

In December 2012 and January 2013 we supplied three more departments in L’viv, Donetsk and Vinnitsa with animal-free teaching materials. In return they will stop all animal experimentation in their students' training. More than 5,700 animals, mainly frogs and rats will be spared an agonizing death each year.

L’viv Polytechnical University

We had already successfully cooperated with the L'viv National Polytechnical University in the Western part of Ukraine years ago. Thanks to our commitment it has been possible to study there completely without animal experimentation since 2009. However, now the Ukrainian Ministry of Education presented a new curriculum that requested the establishment of a new practical course on immunology. That course was to include numerous animal experiments. The thymus glands, spleen and bone marrow were supposed to be removed from mice, and the reaction of antiserums tested on guinea pigs, mice and frogs.

The lecturer, Veronika Chervetsova, with whom we had made a contract in the past, called our Ukrainian project partner, Dimitrij Leporskij (InterNICHE Ukraine) for help. She wanted to prevent her colleagues of the Institute of Technology, Biologically Active Substances, Pharmacy and Biotechnology to introduce new animal experiments. A pharmaceutical company had given to the department a brand new auditorium, but the technical equipment was lacking. In January 2013 we signed a contract with the head of the institute and donated a notebook, and a number of computer simulations, so that the animal experiments on 220 mice, 13 frogs and 5 guinea pigs as required by the ministry will never start at all.

From left: Aelita Krichkovskaya, lecturer Veronika Chervetsova, project leader Dimitrij Leporskij, Elena Fedorova, and Prof. Volodymyr Novikov, head of the department.

Thanks to our donations in this auditorium only animal-free teaching methods will be used.

Donetsk Medical School

Our projects mainly are spread by word of mouth. However, there are still many conservative teachers who rather stick to the old methods of animal experimentation than switch to modern teaching methods. Donestk Medical School in the East of Ukraine is such a difficult case.

In the summer of 2011 in the internet circulated horrible pictures of tortured dogs, kept under appalling conditions in Donetsk Medical University. According to media reports in surgery training courses only partly anaesthetized dogs were operated on by students. When we heard this we became active immediately. After several unsuccessful attempts to get in touch, finally, one year later, there was a reaction. Igor Zinkovich, the new vice chancellor, showed interest in cruelty-free teaching methods. The first thing he did was to put an end to the keeping of dogs. The horrendous dungeons shown on the internet are a thing of the past now. Yet uncounted rats and frogs were still tortured and killed in horrible experiments.

When our project partner, Dimitrij Leporskij, visited Donetsk University for the first time in October 2012 his presentation of animal-free teaching methods was convincing. Even the most sceptical teachers were surprised that the computer models are of such high quality. A test project was agreed upon. The director of the Institute for Physiology, Valery Kazakov, agreed, with our help to switch in his course to cruelty-free teaching methods. If this test runs smoothly, (hopefully) other institutes will follow.

In this department alone an incredible number of animals are sacrificed to a completely outdated teaching: 4,400 frogs, 600 rats, 180 rabbits and 60 guinea pigs each year. The heads of conscious frogs are cut off with scissors. Muscles, nerves, hearts and intestines are removed in order to demonstrate the functions of the organs.

At the end of December 2012 Dimitrij (right) presented the materials donated to Donetsk: a notebook, a video projector, some models and a large number of computer programs and videos. Thus 5,240 animals are saved each year from a painful death.

At Donetsk University many foreign students are trained.

Dr. Andrei Snegir and Prof. Boris Ivnev, lecturers at the Department of Physiology with the donated materials.

We will do our best to convince also other departments of the Donetsk Medical University to become free from animal experiments, too.

This project was funded by a donation of the Wolfgang Bösche animal welfare foundation. Thank you very much!

Vinnitsa Medical School

In May 2011 we had signed a contract with the head of the Department of Physiology, Prof. Luidmyla Soloviova of the Vinnitsa National Medical Pirogov School. Until then each year about 1,400 animals, mainly frogs but also mice, guinea pigs and rabbits were killed. We bought a video projector for the department and a large selection of computer simulations and films. According to the contract all animal experiments have to be ended. An inspection carried out in October 2011 confirmed, that everything is to our complete satisfaction.

Prof. Luidmyla Soloviova, head of the department of Physiology with the contract in May 2011.

In December 2012 the husband of Prof. Soloviova asked for our help. Prof. Mikhail Pushkar is the head of the Department of Histology at the same university. For the production of new histological slides he wanted to avoid killing numerous animals, among them dogs and cats, and so he asked for animal-free methods.

Histology, the study of tissues, can easily be studied with the help of computer simulations. We gave Prof. Pushkar a notebook, several CD’s and a collection of 100 histological slides of real human tissue. The head of the department was delighted by the excellent quality of the computer programs. And he was glad to receive the human slides which make much more sense for a human medical college than slides of animal tissues. 245 vertebrates and 100 invertebrates of different species will not be killed now.

Dimitrij Leporskij (left) and Prof. Pushkar (right), who is pleased with the donated materials.

This project was made possible thanks to a donation from the Wolfgang Bösche animal welfare foundation. Thank you so much! 

Further information

Overview of the whole project (in German) >>

Trilingual Website (German, Ukrainian, Russian)