Minsk: 3rd success in Belarus
Three Belarussian universities have already signed agreements with us, and subsequently have switched to animal-free education. After Pinsk and Gorki, now a university in the capital Minsk joined. All our projects in Eastern Europe are carried out in cooperation with InterNICHE.
University teacher Viktor Lemeshonak, with whom we had successfully cooperated at the Polessky State University Pinsk, had moved to Minsk and immediately promoted animal-free education at his new site.
As early as 2007, the director of the Institute of Pathophysiology, Prof. Irina Merkulova, signed an agreement with InterNICHE and ended animal experiments in her curriculum.
In 2015, our Ukrainian project partner Dimitij Leporskij gave several lectures on animal use in higher education and animal-free teaching at a bioethics conference at the Sakharov University of Minsk.
All these positive experiences together convinced Prof. Buchenkov, head of the Faculty of Ecological Medicine.
There were not many animal experiments left in his course because the non-animal methods introduced at the Department of Pathophysiology in 2007, were used at the whole university. In order to draw a line under this chapter and to completely abolish animal use in education, the agreement was signed in May 2017. During his visit, Dimitrij Leporskij handed over a notebook funded by us and a number of CD and DVDs.
Annually 760 mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits and cattle are no longer killed. The range of experiments included the effects of radiation on tissue in rats, experiments on the nerve and heart of frogs and inducing an autoimmune encephalomyelitis (meningitis) in rabbits and mice. That's history now.
Prof. Igor Buchenov (right) and Dimitrij Leporskij signing the agreement.
A year before, we had signed an agreement with Prof. Yuro Mirenkov, Dean of the Department of Agroecology of the State Agricultural Academy of Belarus in Gorki. By this, we were able to save annually 383 mice from the painful death of being poisoned with pesticides and alkaloids. In Gorki, too, the number of animal experiments had been greatly reduced since the Soviet era. The university has a large collection of durable preparations, good computer equipment and veterinary clinics where students can learn diagnostics and treatment of animals.
Dimitrij's lecture at the bioethics conference at the Sakharov University in Minsk in 2015, finally convinced the teachers in Gorki to stop animal use for educational purposes altogether.
So, there are now three universities in Belarus which participated in our project and switched to an animal-free teaching: Pinsk, Gorki and Minsk.
Dimitrij Leporski (back) lectures at the Belarusian Agricultural Academy in Gorki.
Overview of the whole project (in German) >>