The European Animal Research Association is looking for Twitter ambassadors in the following countries – Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Latvia Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
An EARA Twitter ambassador is responsible for managing a Twitter account in their own language and providing accurate, evidence-based news and other information on the impact and benefits of animal research.
There are currently EARA Twitter accounts in seven languages, operating in countries including Germany @EARA_DE and Italy @EARA_IT.
Candidates must have a background in biomedical research and are either
living in the above-mentioned countries or have worked or studied there
previously. They should also be available to start as soon as possible.
This is a paid freelance position. If you are interested in
becoming an EARA Twitter Ambassador contact us by e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Madrid, 17 September, 2019:
The Spanish biomedical sector has made greater strides towards openness about
the use of animals in scientific research in the last year than ever before,
according to a new report by the European Animal Research Association (EARA),.
Among the clear signs of this openness, the survey results from the second annual report(in Spanish) of COSCE (Confederation of Spanish Scientific Societies) Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Spain, shows that every institution signatory of the Agreement now has a public declaration on their website explaining their policies on the use of animals.
Launched in 2016, the Transparency
Agreement on Animal Research in Spain, has been signed by 140
institutions and contains four commitments to provide greater information about
the scientific research using animals that they conduct, as well as to improve
the level of understanding about the benefits, harms and limitations that
animal testing can entail.
The report was conducted
by EARA, which along with the Spanish Association for Laboratory Animal Science
(SECAL) helped COSCE to develop the Agreement.
“Scientific institutions, in the Agreement, no
longer hide or are ashamed about their research with animals and they are
clearly explaining to society what their activity is and that they do it
ethically,” says Margarita del Val, Vocal of Life and Health Sciences of COSCE.
Among the activities that institutions reported as
examples of openness and transparency were student and school visits,
exhibitions and open days, videos and further information on animal research on
their websites (see case study examples in Notes to Editors).
Overall, nearly all
institutions that responded (96%) believe that the Agreement is an important
step for biomedical research in Spain and 86% believe it will lead to real improvements
in openness in their own institution.
Other notable responses
from the survey (completed by 104 signatory institutions) included:
• 104 institutions (76% of the signatories) completed the
survey compared to 62 last year (53% of the signatories at that time).
• 80% of the institutions surveyed offered the possibility of visits by the general public. Some institutions also offered the possibility of a virtual tour. For example: Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla IBiS https://youtu.be/ZqIDIaisFYc
• 79% of institutions report on their scientific advances publicly and mention when animals were used in the research.
• 71 % of institutions that use animals confirm that they have hosted visits by students or non- research staff from other institutions
EARA Board member, Javier
said: “More institutions that ever before in Spain have begun to explain why
they use animals in biomedical research and how this is of value to society as
a whole and this second annual report illustrates this clearly.
“However, the information
collected also reflects that more progress is still needed as not all
institutions have yet begun to carry out transparency activities beyond
survey, some institutions were still uncertain how they could get help to meet
the aims of the three commitments and therefore this year a separate document,
which includes a large number of examples and case studies has been distributed
to all 140 signatory institutions.
Notes to editors
According to the latest data published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAMA), in 2017 there were 802,976 uses of animals for scientific and teaching purposes in Spain.
Openness case study ‘Animal research
gives life’ The Spanish Society for
Laboratory Animal Sciences (SECAL) used World Day for Laboratory Animals (24 April), as an
opportunity to communicate on animal research. EARA Member SECAL, created
a video (in Spanish) with examples on the benefits of the biomedical animal
research. The message in the video “La
experimentación animal da vida” (Animal research gives
life) was repeated by board members of SECAL. Research institutions from
Spain and Latin America (including EARA’s Spanish
Twitter feed) shared
the video on social media with the
1/Examples of transparency related to the first commitment:
Science with meaning exhibition The Aragon Institute of Health Sciences (IACS) in collaboration with Etopia Center for Art and Technology , designed an exhibition based on exploring science through the senses. Research with animals comprises an important part of the content.
Why animals matter: arguments about animal research By way of frequently asked questions (FAQs), one of the SECAL Working Groups has prepared an document with 12 questions and answers about animal research.
2/Examples of transparency related to the second commitment:
About EARA The European Animal Research Association (EARA) is an
organisation that communicates and advocates on biomedical research using
animals and provides accurate, evidence-based information. It also takes responsibility for the choice
and sustainability in the global transport of animals for medical research. It
has more than 80 partner organisations, including private and public research
bodies, universities, regional and national biomedical associations and
suppliers, across 14 European countries.
EARA’s vision is to enhance the understanding and recognition of research involving animals across Europe, allowing for a more constructive dialogue with all stakeholders and a more efficient climate for research in Europe www.eara.eu
About COSCE The Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain is the result an initiative in begun in 2003 and brings together 82 scientific societies representing more than 40,000 members. The purpose of COSCE, are to contribute to the scientific and technological development of Spain; advocate on issues that affect science and promote t
‘We are lagging behind on openness about animal research’ say vets and
A survey of Australian and New Zealand vets and technicians who care for animals, used in medical and veterinary research, has shown that most believe scientific institutions should be moreopen about animal use.
They are also supportive of a public pledge, similar to those found in European countries, to commit Australian and New Zealand institutions to greater openness.
Speaking at this week’s ANZLAA conference in Perth, Australia, veterinarians Dr Malcolm France and Dr Jodi Salinsky said that 87 per cent of survey respondents wanted research organisations to be more open and would support the development of an ‘openness agreement’ similar to the UK’s successful Concordat on Openness on Animal Research.
This article is reprinted from the Utrecht 3Rs newsletter, with the message of Jan Langermans, Professor ‘Welfare of Laboratory Animals’ at Utrecht University and also deputy director of Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Netherlands, on welfare improvement of animals used in research.
More attention to the welfare improvement of laboratory animals. That is the message prof. dr. Jan Langermans wants to propagate. He was recently appointed professor ‘Welfare of Laboratory Animals’ at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University. He will focus on the welfare improvement of larger animals used for scientific purposes.
“In those fields of research where we cannot move forward without laboratory animals, we have to invest in the highest possible welfare standards” says Langermans. “This is an essential part of responsible use of animals for research.” He emphasizes that with refinement, he does not only mean the reduction of pain and discomfort, but also the introduction of positive aspects that contribute to a positive welfare state. For example, simple improvements in food or cage enrichment and creating positive associations with the experimental procedures by means of training can make a huge difference in the quality of life of these animals. Three themes on which he wants to focus are the training of laboratory animals, the introduction of enrichment under experimental conditions and the use of innovative techniques to improve welfare and reduce the number of animals needed for research.
Training both animals and researchers
“An important question that people who work with laboratory animals must continuously ask themselves is: how can we improve the circumstances for these animals?” says Langermans. Continue reading →
In an article that first appeared in Spiked, academic and author Stuart Derbyshire, applauds the progress towards xenotransplantation.
In August 1979, British surgeon Terence English successfully completed the first heart transplant in the UK. This month he was making headlines again by predicting that we will be successfully transplanting hearts grown in pigs into human patients by 2022.
The transplantation of organs from animals into humans, known as xenotransplantation, would be a huge benefit to those waiting for transplants. There are currently around 6,000 people on the UK transplant waiting list, and over 400 of them died waiting last year. Donor pools are simply insufficient to meet demand.
The insufficiency is getting worse for at least two (good) reasons. First, transplantation techniques are improving, and that means ever greater numbers of patients are becoming eligible for transplantation, increasing demand on donor pools. Secondly, the safety, health and longevity of everyone is improving, meaning that the pool of young, healthy, eligible donor organs is shrinking. Solutions other than human-to-human transplantation are necessary to meet the demand-and-supply gap.
One solution is xenotransplantation, and a report from a team of surgeons in Germany last December brought that solution much closer to fruition. The team transplanted pig hearts into three groups of baboons. Four baboons made up the first group and the results were poor. Three of them survived only one day, and the last survived just 30 days.
The latest in the series of EARA science communications events, supported by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), will take place in Alicante, Spain, on 1 October.
Improving Openness in Animal Research in Spain is a free event (register here) and will focus on why scientists, researchers, press officers and other stakeholders should talk openly about animal research, but will not be a debate about the ethics of animal experimentation.
It will take place on the Monday, 1 October, (14:30 – 18:00 CEST) at the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante (CSIC-UMH), and is a public event, although it will be of particular interest to those working in the life sciences sector.
Following the presentations, moderated by Cristina Márquez, Neuroscientist, of CSIC-UMH, there will be a panel discussion followed by a drinks reception.
Speakers: Kirk Leech, Executive Director, European Animal Research Association
Kirk is Executive Director of EARA, a communications and advocacy organisation whose mission is to uphold the interests of biomedical, and other life sciences, research and healthcare development across Europe. Previously Kirk worked for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and Understanding Animal Research, the UK’s leading advocacy group on the use of animals in medical research.
Dr. Carmen Agustín, Neuroscientist, University of Valencia
BSc in Biology and PhD in Neuroscience. Lecturer at Dept Cell and Functional Biology & Physical Antropology (Universitat de València). Researcher at Functional Neuroanatomy Lab (Universitat Jaume I de Castelló & Universitat de València). Her research is focused in neurobiology of socio-sexual and parental behaviour, olfactory system, and murine models of neurological disease. Since 2012 she has been actively engaged in science communication, as a blogger, speaker and in different media such as TV, radio and Twitter. She will speak about her experience in communicating animal research to the public.
Daniel Mediavilla, Journalist, El País
Daniel Mediavilla holds a degree in Audiovisual Communication from the University of Navarra and is one of the founders of Materia, the science and technology news website. For five years he has been a science journalist for El País . Previously, Daniel worked as advisor to the Secretary of State for Research, Felipe Pétriz, in the Ministry of Science and Innovation, and as a journalist for the science section of ABC and Público.
Professor Juan Lerma, Neuroscientist and editor-in-chief of Neuroscience, and CSIC-UMH
Juan Lerma is Professor at the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and the Editor-in-Chief of Neuroscience. He chaired the Animal Research Committee of COSCE that established the Transparency Agreement on the Use of Animals in Research. Previously, he has been Director of the Instituto de Neurociencias (CSIC-UMH) (2007-2016), Chair of the PanEuropean Regional Committee of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), and Secretary General of FENS.
EARA Executive Director, Kirk Leech, looks at the remarkable progress in biomedical research in the search for a cure for Ebola virus which has devastated parts of central Africa in the last year.
This week, marking the first anniversary of
the most recent Ebola outbreak, scientists running a clinical trial of new
drugs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have announced a dramatic
increase in survival rates.
such as the DRC, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, Ebola is a serious health
emergency. They are among the poorest countries in the world, only recently
emerging from years of civil war and unrest that has left basic health
infrastructures severely damaged or ruined. Living conditions are often
restricted and unclean, water supplies are limited, medical treatment is
scarce, and trust in officialdom, pretty much non-existent.
underdevelopment and the attendant problem of political dysfunction have
created a situation in which a virus like Ebola can flourish. Since 2014 a
total of 28,616 cases of Ebola and 11,310 deaths were reported in Guinea,
Liberia, and Sierra Leone. This is what is driving research into finding a way
to halt the spread of the disease
Now, thanks in part to research involving mice and non-human primates the sponsors of the current clinical trial in DRC have announced a real breakthrough. While an experimental vaccine that was proven to be effective in monkeys had previously been shown to shield people from catching Ebola, this new development marks a first for people who have already been infected.
The European Animal Research Association (EARA) has submitted a guidance document on Non-Technical Summaries (NTS) to the EU Commission on how NTS can be made more understandable for the ordinary reader.
The details were presented by Javier Guillén, (pictured below) a member of the EARA working group that produced the guidance document, at the 14th FELASA Congress, held in Prague, Czech Republic, last week.
Javier told the Congress that
as part of its strategy to improve openness and transparency on the use of
animals in research in Europe, EARA has been working closely with the EU to
help improve the information provided to the general public.
It is understood that the Commission will produce additional guidance on NTS for Member States using some of the EARA guidance document findings.
Every research project application, that intends to use animals, is required to include a publicly available NTS which includes a simple explanation of the project’s objectives, predicted harms, benefits and number and types of animals used. It must also demonstrate compliance with the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement). Continue reading →