Many African countries are using the development of their Pharma industry as a route to economic development. Attention to animal welfare and care, and experimental design is critical in ensuring that these animal studies translate into clinical practice. However, Africa has an extreme shortage of individuals with the knowledge and skills to care for and use research animals. This deficit is a Grand Challenge in itself, hindering the ability of Africa to undertake world-leading research to address its specific health challenges. Opportunities for education and training in research animal sciences across the continent are extremely fragmented and restricted to specific countries. Animal ethics committees are in their infancy or non-existent. There have been limited interventions, led principally by the applicants, to address this knowledge and skills Grand Challenge. However, such training modalities can’t cover long term lagged need of the community and professionals. Therefore, setting up online training for Ethiopian as well as African scientists and biomedical graduate students has a paramount role to improve biomedical research and an ethical review process and to give proper attention to animal welfare.
In order to improve the welfare of laboratory animals and the quality of research results, severity assessment of experiments is ethically and legally required. However, there is still a lack of adequate methods. During my doctoral thesis, I was investigating the suitability and adequacy of two automated home-cage monitoring systems for two different gastrointestinal disease mouse models with regard to severity assessment and the contribution to refinement. In the submitted study, I aimed to assess the severity of dextran sulfate sodium colitis induction in mice by contactless monitoring of home-cage activity. Furthermore, activity patterns of mice during routine husbandry were monitored to analyse the impact of handling methods.
Our study confirmed that mice are aware of the day of changing and are prepared for that previously, so if we stablish a permanent day at week, we could reduce its negative stressful effect on the scientific results. All groups showed a pronounced increase of production of excrements during the 24 hours after any kind of changing, which continued during the second day in some groups of animals. On the other hand, water consumption increased significantly in all groups the previous 24 hours before changing and in the previous 48 hours in some of them. Considering that cages changing should not be avoided, despite of it can influence not only animal welfare but also the reproducibility of the experiments; our conclusion could minimize that effect by establishing a permanent day for changing and even increasing the interval of that.
The Project, a two (2) - full and half days intensive highly integrated Workshop is aimed to “Raising the Bar on the number of Africans skilled in humane animal care and use for scientific purposes”, who are expected to return to their Institutions and put into practice the knowledge and skills acquired from the training, while training others and promoting the same principles. The program will comprise didactic seminars, content and plenary sessions with interactive role play and networking between participants and the Instructional experts from within and outside Africa, invited by ACURET.ORG. A one-day Pre-Workshop Lab Animal Medicine [LAM] Summit, will prelude the training workshop. This is open to Veterinarians from across Africa, for and by Veterinarians who are interested in lab animal medicine as a discipline, course and specialty to promote humane animal care and use for scientific purposes in developing countries.
FRAME in partnership with universities, NGOs and projects delivers regular training schools in experimental design and statistics to increase awareness among scientists about the need to reduce animal numbers in experiments and to refine procedures. Participants gain a better understanding of how to properly design and effectively analyse their experimental programmes so that they can go on to produce higher quality science, which has made the most efficient use of a minimum number of animals.
TO BE ABLE TO TAKE THE MASTER COURSE IN LABORATORY ANIMAL SCIENCE AND WELFARE AT UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA IN SPAIN.