This survey is centered on European research, and is an instrument to be made available freely to interested stakeholders to shape the public discourse on biomedical research.
It will be used to map the reality of the European biomedical research models – animal or non animal, tracing as accurately as possible the state, perspectives, needs, and expectations of those that made research their call.
An ever growing number of stakeholders, from within and outside research practice, participate in the shaping and definition of key research policies, each with specific agendas and values. A credible depiction of the reality, articulation, and complexity of European research will be a meaningful instrument to help the public dialogue remain focused on the effective needs of research itself, embedding outside considerations but not suffering undue influence.
The survey includes multiple questions on the use of animals in research.
To take part – Click on the word ‘here’; or follow the EU Survey link given below.
Animal-free method predicts nanoparticle toxicity for safer industrial materials
26 November 2020
At Helmholtz Zentrum München, the research group of Dr. Tobias Stöger, in collaboration with partners from the SmartNanoTox EU project, gathered insights on the toxicity of nanoparticles and managed to predict the spectrum of lung inflammation using only in vitro measurement and in silico modeling.
Our lungs are exposed to a multitude of hazardous airborne particles on a daily basis. Nanoparticles, due to their small size, may reach the sensitive alveolar region of the human lung and trigger inflammation even after a single inhalation leading to severe diseases such as heart disease, brain damage and lung cancer for prolonged exposure.
In manufacturing, toxic nanoparticles may be released into the environment during the production, processing, degradation or combustion of materials. Despite advances in models for nanotoxicology, currently neither in vitro nor in silico testing tools can reliably predict adverse outcomes or replace in vivo testing. In order to facilitate the introduction of safer materials into our lives, novel testing strategies are needed to predict the potential toxicity of industrial nanoparticles before and during the manufacturing process.
Currently, safety testing relies heavily on animal studies.
While animal experimentation is still indispensable for mechanistic and chronic toxicological studies, they are less suited for predictive tests within a safe-by-design production of new materials. This study introduces an alternative animal-free testing strategy, capable for high-throughput testing and connectable with in silico modelling.
Polish scientists have identifies the first cases of coronavirus in mink at a farm in the north of the country.
The Medical University of Gdansk said that eight animals were found to be infected at a breeding farm in the Pomeranian Voivodeship.
Poland, a major producer of mink fur, started coronavirus tests among its farmed mink and workers this month after a mutation of the virus was found in Denmark.
Veterinary and sanitary authorities in Poland said last week that 18 coronavirus cases had been identifies among mink farmworkers since the start of the pandemic, but it was unlikely that to have been spread by the animals.
“The obtained results indicate the possibility of transmission of the virus from humans to minks,” the Medical University of Gdansk said in a statement.
Poland is the world’s third-largest fur producer after China and Denmark, according to animal rights groups that are campaigning for an end to breeding animals like mink for fur.
Hungary Bans Fur Farming Of Minks, Foxes And Ferrets Due To ‘Public Health Concerns’ Amid COIVD-19
The announcement follows a slew of COVID-19 outbreaks on mink fur farms across the globe
Hungary has announced a ban on mink fur farming due to ‘public health concerns of zoonotic diseases’.
The ban also includes the farming of foxes, polecats/ferrets, and coypu. However, it does not include chinchilla.
The news follows COVID-19 outbreaks on slew of mink fur farms across the globe. Reports now suggest the COVID-19 variant found on a Danish mink fur farm could spark a new coronavirus pandemic.
‘A good outcome for human health’
Dr. Joanna Swabe is the senior director of public affairs for Humane Society International/Europe.
In a statement sent to Plant Based News she ‘applaued’ the Hungarian government for enacting the ban.
Swabe said: “Although these species are not currently farmed for fur in the country… This ban is more than just symbol politics. There’s a very real and present danger that fur farmers from elsewhere in Europe may attempt to move their operations to Hungary.
“This is a precautionary measure that shuts the door to that happening. [It] is a good outcome for human health and animal welfare.”
‘Make fur farming history’
Moreover, Swabe points out the ban ‘fails’ to include chinchila, who ‘could also be susceptible to viruses’.
She added: “As long as the animal exploitation of fur farming is tolerated, the potential for reservoirs of animal to human pathogens will persist….
“HSI hopes that the Hungarian government will also consider strengthening its ban by shutting down the country’s chinchilla fur farms too, and make fur farming history in Hungary.”
We are in a fight to save our beautiful family dog Sarge from being killed by Sunshine Coast Regional Council in Queensland.
Sarge has been a part of my family for 8 years, and it’s been nothing but pure love since I picked him up at 8 weeks old. Sarge had a very normal life interacting with all kinds of dogs at off-leash beaches and off-leash parks where he had no issues. He has lived happily with babies, children, a rabbit, cats, guinea pigs, and other dogs. He went to puppy pre-school and passed everything and was always well-behaved.
Unfortunately, in 2016 at age 6, Sarge was declared a dangerous dog following an incident where a small dog was killed. There were no visible injuries to the small dog; we were all incredibly devastated as we knew this is not what Sarge had intended to happen, he was just trying to help his pack member who he thought was in trouble. This declaration was imposed by Noosa Council with no objection from me as his owner. There were no further incidents or problems when we lived in the Noosa council area.
Europe’s fur industry is back in the spotlight after Denmark’s mass culling of millions of mink following an outbreak of coronavirus at farms in the country.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that all mink would be slaughtered. Denmark is the world’s biggest mink producer, farming up to 17 million of the animals, and Covid has swept through a quarter of its 1,000 mink farms.
Officials say this “reservoir” of disease poses a significant health risk for humans, and worry that mutations detected in mink-related strains of the virus might compromise a future vaccine.
But images of mink mass graves and farmers in tears were followed by outcry after the government admitted its order had no legal basis. The agriculture minister has since resigned. On Saturday hundreds of tractors drove into central Copenhagen to protest about the handling of the crisis. There have also been protests in the cities of Aalborg and Aarhus.
The proposed ban on mink farming until 2022 now has parliamentary backing but negotiations over compensation are dragging out.
Authorities say all 288 infected herds have been killed and they have put down approximately 10 million animals. It is believed the majority of remaining mink on farms where no infection was detected have also been killed. In a short while, Denmark’s fur industry has almost been wiped out. Around 6,000 jobs are at risk.
“It is a de facto permanent closure and liquidation of the fur industry,” said Danish Mink Breeders Association chairman Tage Pedersen in a statement. “This affects not only the mink breeders, but entire communities.”
Mink farmer Per Thyrrestrup doubts business will ever come back: “To have the same quality of the skins, to have the same colour – it’s going to be 15 to 20 years before that’s possible.”
The world’s largest fur auction house, Kopenhagen Fur, has also announced a “controlled shutdown” over two to three years until this season’s pelts and older stockpiles are sold.
Thousands of buyers, mostly from China, once flocked to auctions held in the Danish capital. It has been a giant in the business, trading 25 million Danish and foreign furs last year.
But even before the pandemic struck, there were signs it was struggling.
A decade ago trade boomed, fuelled by an appetite for luxury goods as Chinese incomes grew. In 2013, Kopenhagen Fur sold about $2bn (£1.5bn) of furs, with global mink production worth $4.3bn.
Mink pelts then cost over $90 (£69) each, but the bubble burst and last year skins fetched only a third of that. Local farmers have struggled to make money – and it is a pattern seen elsewhere. China is by far the biggest fur importer, but it is a major producer too.
Else Skjold, head of fashion at the Royal Danish Academy, says this competition has driven prices down: “A lot of new farmers went into the market and so there was simply an overflow of fur.”
There’s also significant fur farming across Europe. In 2018 there were 4,350 fur farms in 24 European countries, says industry group Fur Europe. Poland, the Netherlands, Finland, Lithuania and Greece are the biggest producers after Denmark – though the US, Canada and Russia also operate farms.
Since the cull began prices have shot up. “People were concerned that there might be a shortage,” says Mark Oaten, chief executive of the International Fur Federation (IFF). Denmark accounts for at least a quarter of the global mink trade.
A week ago, my cat Cordino had an operation, that’s why I have to leave the work on our blog aside.
In order for the wound to heal well, he has to wear a neck collar, and although he is very good-natured and cooperative, he definitely didn’t want that.
We have agreed to only wear the collar at night, and during the day it stays free and happy, but for me, this means that I have to take care of him all the time so that he does not lick the wound.
We both have to complete this task by Sunday, then Sunday is the 10th day after the operation and then the threads are extinguished by themselves and we are all redeemed.
I ask for your understanding.
Soon I’ll be fully active again on our blog.
WAV Comment – Like so many live animal transport issues which is always backed up by hard evidence; the EU ignores the same and continues to live up with the fairies on another planet. Over 8 years ago this issue was covered by NGO’s in Argentina; and the EU has not acted. What is the point of the EU we ask ?
Horsemeat imports in regular breach of EU rules
25 November 2020
Today, the Animal Welfare Foundation, supported by other NGOs, released a new documentary underlining animal welfare abuses in the production of Argentinian horsemeat. Unfortunately, as demonstrated by our report, this is not an isolated case.
The documentary, entitled “A Web of Lies”, (click on title to see video) reveals that eight years after the first investigation carried out by NGOs in Argentina, the severe abuses and neglect of horses destined for slaughter continue, despite claims that the situation has improved. The film also puts the spotlight on key shortcomings in ensuring the traceability of the horses.
Similar issues can be witnessed in several countries providing horsemeat to the EU, like Australia, Uruguay and Canada. Consumption and trade of horsemeat in the EU has overall declined between 2000 and 2015; yet, since 2017, EU imports of horsemeat from foreign countries have started to grow again, especially from Argentina.
It is thus high time for the European Commission to address the concerns around these imports.
Eurogroup for Animals launches today a report presenting an overview on animal welfare and traceability-related issues encountered in key producing countries. The report puts forward the following recommendations in order to ensure better equine protection:
All imported equine meat must comply with EU animal welfare standards at slaughter (which are currently the only applicable animal welfare requirements for imported meat).
All imported equine meat should also respect other animal welfare standards applied in EU horse meat production (e.g. related to transport, in assembly centres and in horse feedlots). This means trade agreements should contain provisions on conditional liberalisation of horse meat imports (e.g. liberalised access to the EU market would be contingent on meeting equivalent welfare standards).
Suspension of imports from countries if EU audits demonstrate a lack of enforcement of the applicable provisions of the regulation on welfare at the time of killing and traceability requirements.
Allowing for the possibility of unannounced audits.
Suspension of imports (e.g. from Mexico and Brazil) are not reversed unless the production meets the required EU animal welfare standards as confirmed by EU audits.
Working to improve equine welfare outside the EU through cooperation on animal welfare with relevant partner countries (at present Argentina, Australia and Canada), using technical assistance where required.
Greater traceability of horse meat products by introducing Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) for fresh and frozen equine meat.
Reduced consumption of equine meat and derived products (through member organisations reaching out to retailers and consumers).