RE workshop has been held during the annual meeting of the Germany Neuroscience Society in March in Göttigen. It was the first opf it's kind and it is intended to organize similar events at the national meetings of the FENS member societies in the future. Please find the complete report written by Prof. Stefan Treue below:
Neuroscience research using animals: The legal, ethical and political situation
This was the title of an hour-long workshop organized and chaired by Stefan Treue on March 24 at the annual meeting of the German Neuroscience Society in Goettingen. Stefan Treue is a member of the committee on animals in research (CARE, http://fens.mdc-berlin.de/care/).
The tasks of CARE are similar to the tasks of the corresponding committee of the Society for Neuroscience in the US. CARE advises FENS on the responsibility use of animals in neuroscience research. It supports the development of resources on animals in research for friends and promotes the public education in matters related to the use of animals in research. It monitors the development of European legislation on the use of animals in biomedical research, makes contributions to the efficient implementation of the EU directive on animal research and provides expert advice on animal research issues. The committee challenges the claims, rethorics and actions of groups attempting to end the use of animals in research, provides support to researchers under attack and responds to media when the ethics and importance of research using animals is questioned.
The workshop provided an overview of the current situation regarding the use of animals in neuroscience research and provided each participant with a CD containing important materials on the issue. The topics covered included:
• a review of the central aspects of the new "Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes" that the EU passed in 2010
• a review of the state of implementation of this directive in the various EU member states
• a presentation of the "Basel declaration" on animal research
• a review of the situation in Europe concerning providing the public and politicians with accurate information about animal research
• a discussion of the role of individual researchers, neuroscience societies and other organizations in the public and political debate about animal research.
With over 150 participants the workshop was very well attended. A lively discussion and the positive feedback from the audience showed that this event was viewed as important and informative.
The workshop's success matches that of a similar event at last year's FENS meeting in Amsterdam and encourages CARE to follow through with its plan to offer similar workshops and symposia at most other meetings of the European neuroscience societies as well as at the FENS meeting next year. An overview of these events can be found here: http://fens.mdc-berlin.de/media/pdf/care/CARE_events_2011_for_website.pdf