04/12/13 Scientists for Science without the Use of Animals!

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Animal Friends and university professors presenting a brochure A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation

- Rijeka, April 12, Dr, Damir Hrsak and PhD. Predrag Sustar on the promotion of the brochure; "Safer Medicines" film screening

In a new brochure, A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation published by Animal Friends and Dvostruka duga, scientists and medical professionals question the experiments on animals in medical and scientific research, offering safer and more effective solutions for advances in medicine and science.

Promotion of the brochure will be held on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 6 P.M. in the Local Committee Luka in Rijeka (Verdieva 11). A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation will be presented by Dr. Damir Hrsak, a university professor and activist for human and animal rights, PhD. Predrag Sustar, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka and Luka Oman, president of Animal Friends. They will present the film "Safer Medicines", which questions traditional research methods and compares them with the latest achievements in the progressive development of biomedicine which does not use animals.

Damir Hršak, chief editor of the interdisciplinary journal, "The Holistic Approach to Environment," that promotes a benevolent coexistence model of all beings on earth, said: "Animals are live beings who, like us, feel joy and suffering, pain and pleasure. Inflicting conscious pain on another being for personal gain can never be morally acceptable behavior of mature and responsible man. But when you consciously inflict unimaginable pain on millions of animals in various laboratories around the world, while there is no scientific proof of real benefit for man – it is truly monstrous and any civilized society should ban this by law while punishing all the torturers. Billions of Euros, which are invested in animal experiments, should be redirected to public health programs. The animals would be saved, and we would be able to call ourselves reasonable human beings with less discomfort."

Dr. sc. Amir Muzur, professor and head of the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities in Medicine at the Medical Faculty in Rijeka, also believes that we should strive to replace animal experiments with contemporary alternative testing methods: "A long time ago, I've also worked (electrophysiological and lesion) experiments on monkeys for years, and as time passed, I've questioned other ways that could replace these experiments. With the development of electronics, as well as the cloning of organs and gene manipulations, I believe we have created conditions in which many, if not most, animal experiments could be replaced with computer simulations or in vitro grown cultures."

Last week the Law on Amendments to the Animal Protection Act (Official Gazette 37/13) came into force in which, thanks to amendments of Mirela Holy, HNS Club and the Government, retained the ban on animal experiments for research and development of washing and disinfection chemicals of consumer goods, drugs and general effects of radiation, which the Ministry of Agriculture had thrown out earlier in its proposed amendments.

However, the Ministry of Agriculture welcomed the presentation of the brochure A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation to the Croatian scientific community, expressing support of Animal Friends' activities related to promoting the replacement of the animals in experiments with non-animal methods and reducing their number in the experiments, according to the 3R principle, as defined in the amending of the Animal Protection Act.

In its letter to Animal Friends on April 3, 2013, PhD. Mirjana Matausic-Pisl, the Minister's Assistant and Director of the Veterinary Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, states that when referring to existing sources in order to encourage the development of alternative approaches, as stated in Article 10 Law on Amendments to the Animal Protection Act, the Ministry will include the brochure A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation.

Considerable evidence shows that animal testing is inefficient and unreliable, while the new, recently developed methodology is far better and is much less expensive than animal testing. Therefore, there is need to build a clear attitude towards the termination of the exploitation and slaughter of animals in experiments.

Animal Friends invites people to sign the petition for a complete legal ban on testing on primates, as the next step in the legislative changes towards a complete ban on animal testing.

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