An International workshop on Animal Care and Use in Research, Education and Testing (ACURET) has opened at the privately-owned Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, South West Nigeria, with a call on scientists to uphold ethical standard when experimenting with animals.
“We need to create awareness and promote an understanding that good animal welfare is good science. If we don’t understand that, the result we get from our animal base experiment is just going to be a waste of time, money, efforts and manpower,’ Prof. Francis Fakoya of St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, in the Caribbean, said at the workshop.
Participants in the two-day workshop are drawn from Universities; Research Institutes, Livestock industries, scientists, and researchers from within and outside Nigeria.
The theme of the workshop is ”Regulations, Guideline And Operations (REGOP) For A Developing Country.’
Prof. Fakoya, who teaches Anatomy, Histology and Cell Biology, said even though the use of animals for experiment have led to several breakthrough in health science, researchers need to promote integrity and be responsible in their work.
Also speaking at the workshop, Prof. Ademola Ajuwon of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, South West Nigeria, called for proper regulatory framework that will moderate the conduct of researchers.
He said even though there are laws prohibiting inhuman treatment of animals in the country, there has not been an effective enforcement of the law.
“There is need for the optimal care and protection from harming of all experimental animals because optimal care promotes the interest of both animals and researchers. Experimental animals which are not properly handled, housed in poor facilities or are suffering from disease, produced poor incorrect and unpalatable results,’ he added.
While challenging scientists to seek alternatives to the use of animals for experiment, Prof. Ajuwon suggested the use of computer model, adding that this is going to be the next generation ways of conducting research.
He also identified the characteristics of a responsible scientists to include obtaining necessary approval from a properly constituted Ethical Committee before the conduct of research.
In addition, the scientists must disseminate findings of research as collected, demonstrate integrity from conception to findings, promote transparency and accountability in research, he said.
PANA reports that the workshop is designed to enhance the quality of research in Agriculture, Medicine and Applied Biosciences. The objectives of ACURET include: Locating ACURET nodules in every African Country by the year 2020.
It hopes to advance public awareness on institutional care and use of animals; organize national and regional training workshops, seminars and host conferences on matters relating to animal care and use in research, education and testing.