Success in Siberia
In June 2015, our project leader and representative of InterNICHE Ukraine, Dimitrij Leporskij, accepted an invitation from Dr. Alexander Matsura, lecturer at the Department of Zoology and Physiology of the Biological Faculty of the Altaj State University in Barnaul, Russia. He had become aware of our project through our trilingual website.
Barnaul is located in Siberia, between Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Shortly before the long journey, a surprising message came from Moscow. Vadim and Maxim Kalan, of InterNICHE Russia wanted to donate seven PCs, they had built from old computers. We bought seven screens, keyboards, and mice, as well as software.
Although Dimitrij arrived in Barnaul during the university’s examination phase, his presentations were very well attended. Thanks to Alexander Matsura, teachers from various departments, as well as from the Pedagogical Altaj University were present. The demonstration of the animal-friendly teaching materials was very well received. For example, Irina Tomilova, a lecturer at the Department of Zoology and Physiology, had the idea to organize a Siberian center for alternatives as well as online conferences for other universities in the region.
At the subsequent meeting with Dean Prof. Marina Siljanteva, she reported that most of the curricula were already performed without the use of animals. In field studies in the nearby nature reserve, the students determine different animal species, distinguish animal sounds and follow animal tracks without harming animals. Some animal experiments are carried out mainly in physiology classes due to the lack of alternatives. The animals for these experiments are either taken from the wild or bred in the animal facility (Vivarium). By providing computers and software, there is now no reason to stick to traditional teaching. When signing the contract, Prof. Siljanteva guaranteed that she would close the animal facility for educational purposes. She also wants to inspire other universities to switch to non-animal teaching materials.
The curriculum included various experiments in nerve and muscle physiology, in which frogs are decapitated to experiment with their organs. In rats, hormone activities and embryonic development were studied, and nerve activities in snails. According to the contract, 315 frogs, 45 rats, and 60 snails will no longer be killed each year from 1 September 2015.
This project was sponsored by People for Animal Rights Baden-Württemberg. Thank you for the generous donation!
From left to right: Dr. Alexander Matsura, Dimitrij Leporskiy, Prof. Marina Siljanteva, Dr. Irina Tomilova
Dimitrij Leporskij during his presentation at the Altaj University.
Simulation cat "Fluffy" and a rat model made of silicone.
Dr. Alexander Matsura with the donated devices.
Dr. Irina Tomilova (right) and Prof. Marina Siljanteva signing the contract.
Overview of the whole project (in German) >>