Alternatives Events Across South Africa:
August - September 2012
Over a week of events on replacement alternatives in education, research
and testing are being held across South Africa from Thursday 23 August
Co-organised by InterNICHE and the National Council of SPCAs, the events
comprise the first major alternatives outreach in the country. The
workshops are being held at Onderstepoort Veterinary Animal Hospital
(University of Pretoria), with follow-up seminars at universities at 6
cities across the country.
InterNICHE Co-ordinator Nick Jukes and the NSPCA team will be joined by
research and testing experts Dr Barbara Grune from the German Federal
Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), and Dr Andre Menache from Antidote
On 23 August the workshop on alternatives in education and training will
explore the pedagogical, ethical and economic advantages of humane
learning tools. Following an introduction to the work of the NSPCA Animal
Ethics Unit, InterNICHE Co-ordinator Nick Jukes will address best practice
and alternatives to animal experiments, illustrated with video clips and
demonstrations of software, models, mannekins and simulators.
A Multimedia Exhibition will provide access to nearly 100 learning tools
from across the disciplines, many taken from the newly established NSPCA /
InterNICHE Alternatives Loan System, based in South Africa. Delegates can
trial software networked across 50 computers.
A live demonstration of laparoscopic surgery will illustrate the potential
of advanced training tools for superior surgical skills acquisition and
the replacement of animal experiments. Specially prepared ethically
sourced organs will be perfused using the POP (Pulsating Organ Perfusion)
Trainer from Optimist and a full laparoscopy stack, to demonstrate a range
of clinical procedures and use of different surgical tools. The organs
derive from a companion animal dog that had been euthanised for medical
reasons, following the InterNICHE Policy on replacement methods.
On 24 August the workshop addresses alternatives in research and testing.
Barbara Grune will introduce alternatives in these fields and provide a
review of legislative developments concerning animal experimentation such
as the new EU Directive 2010/63/EU. She will also describe the work of
AXLR8 and its efforts to accelerate the transition to a toxicity
pathway-based paradigm for chemical safety assessment. Finally she will
review funding of R&D and validation of alternatives, and review global
information resources and techniques for a reliable search on alternatives
to animal experiments.
Veterinarian Andre Menache will explore the use of animal models and
human-based research in an age of personalised medicine. He will reflect
on ethical committees and their effectiveness, with a call to establish a
level playing field, and will question the use of sentient animals in
fundamental research, suggesting it is time to raise the bar.
After the workshops, seminars will be held at the following venues:
27 August: Main campus, University of Pretoria
28 August: University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), Johannesburg
29 August: University of the Free State, Bloemfontein
30 August: University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town
31 August: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Port Elizabeth
4 September: University of North West, Potchefstroom
Enquiries should be directed to:
* Sr Vanessa Anderson (NSPCA) on cellphone +27 (0) 82 828-0354, or by email.
* Nick Jukes (InterNICHE) by email.