As part of its education outreach, FRAME takes part each year in a lecture session at the University of Cardiff. Students from the undergraduate biomedical class hear from various bodies concerned with animal use and welfare and are able to discuss the topic afterwards.
This year FRAME Scientific Officer Kevin Coll gave a presentation on the use of animals in biomedical research, including the application of the Three Rs principle of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement.
Students also heard from representatives of Understanding Animal Research and the NC3Rs, as well as members of the University’s animal care and legal departments.
The workshop focused on the ethics, scientific rationale, and legality involved in the use of animals in experimentation. For many of the students this was their first introduction to the topic in any detail. Questions afterwards revealed their concerns about animal welfare in other areas, such as agriculture, and being kept as pets, as well as the ways in which laboratory animal studies are conducted.
FRAME’s work at Cardiff is part of an education programme designed to educate scientists on the practicalities and consequences of using animals for research, and on the need to ensure they are undertaken only when they provide valuable information that advances scientific understanding and cannot be obtained in other ways – for example, by providing novel insights into human disease mechanisms.
Additional important goals are to disseminate knowledge on the status of non-animal research methods that can replace the need for studies in animals, and on the substantial progress being made in the development and use of such methods. This educational programme includes regular FRAME Training Schools on experimental design and statistics.
FRAME Scientific Director Dr Gerry Kenna said: “We are delighted to be able to help Cardiff University to highlight this vital topic and hope other educational establishments will follow their excellent lead.”
If other universities would like to arrange similar events, please get in touch using the form on the website.