RESEARCHERS TRAINED IN THE CARE OF LABORATORY ANIMALS
SPEAKERS SAID THAT THE MAIN PROBLEM IS THE LITTLE INFORMATION ON THIS SUBJECT, BUT THERE EXISTS INTEREST IN ACTING WITHIN AN ETHICAL FRAMEWORK.
June 29, 2016
The "First Course on Handling and Care of Laboratory Animals", aimed at educating researchers and students in the use of live laboratory specimens as biomodels in scientific research, was held in the Auditorium of the Bicentennial Space, and organized by the Institutional Committee on Ethics, Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Ciecual) of our Academic Institution.
The issue has been significantly in force in the animal’s rights sphere and, according to Daniel Droguett, Secretary of the Committee, is one of the main concerns of Ciecual. "We worry that all the experiments that require the use of laboratory animals be performed within the ethical framework and with all the care animals deserve, in order to avoid any suffering or any discomfort they might have," he said.
Likewise, Droguett stressed the importance of participating in this type of activities and insisted that "people who use laboratory animals, mainly researchers, have to be trained on this issue". In that regard, he stressed that "it is one of the first goals we have in the Committee, to start preparing those who work at the University that they avoid producing any discomfort to these beings", he said.
As explained by the Director of Research in the UTALCA, Iván Palomo, the use of animals in laboratories goes back many years, within the scope of biological science in general and, therefore, of biomedicine. "They have relied on animal experimentation because the logical sequence is to make first in vitro experiments, i.e. on the counter, and not involving animals or humans,where the work is done with reagents, considering it in generic terms and, in some cases, in cell culture. And the stage that follows is animal experimentation, to then intervene and do some tests on humans, so when it has to do with a new drug, for example, the complete sequence is fulfilled", said the academic.
One of the main objectives as University in this field is that undergraduate students from the Department of Health Sciences and the School of Medicine - which are the principal users of the vivarium-, the academics from these units and the post-doctoral students associated with these, "understand and be aware of what a vivarium is and how animals are used in the least possible way so that the results may be reproducible", said Palomo.
Another of those attending the event was the President of Ciecual, Leandro Zúñiga, who remarked that there is an approach that allows to replace the use of animals, "and to some extent, the use of these is justified if and when there is no other alternative. For example, one of the criteria seeks to reduce also a minimum the number of animals that will be used by researchers and the ethical considerations that are behind each of the approaches that are sought to be implemented". He added that it is also relevant to consider "that the use of these models be justified", according to the good practices in the use of laboratory animals.
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