Discussion titled “Protection of experimental animals - fiction or reality”, organized by theYouth Center and our society, was held in the Youth Center of Belgrade, on 9th April 2013, at 7 pm.

Guest speakers were:

  • Zoran Todorovic prof. PhD, president of the Bioethics Society of Serbia and President of the Ethics Council of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management;
  • Ivana Lazic Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Advisor for Animal Welfare in the Veterinary Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, and
  • Representatives of our Asocciation, Phoenix.

The situation in the protection field of experimental animals until the end of 2012

Serbia still has no official statistics about the number of animals used in the experimental purposes per year (unofficially, it is about 25.000). The majority of the experiments performed at the Military Medical Academy and Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Serum – Torlak, Institute for Biological Research “Sinisa Stankovic” and at the Institute of Nuclear Sciences “Vinca”. Half of the animals used in the experiments are the rats. Other animals are mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, snakes, frogs, fish, cats, dogs, birds, sheep, pigs, horses and monkeys. Military Medical Academy is the only institution in Serbia that grown some species of animals in experimental purposes and export them to neighboring countries. In what circumstances they live, how they reproduce, what experiments are performed on them, how they are transported and how they ending life after the experiments – we still do not officially know.

The legal regulations which was made in the last few years should allow the implementation of order into this area, but it will take time to realized it.

Since 2009 Serbia has accepted the Animal Welfare Low. It is completely prohibited the use of animals in education experiments (primary and secondary schools, colleges), in examinations of the weapons, military equipment and radiation as well as the use of of animals from shelters (it is allowed only from registered breeding). It is defined establishment and functioning of Ethics Commissions and Ethical Council. The use of experimental animals in scientific - research purposes is precisely regulated, and any institution doing experiments on animals must create an Ethical Commissions consisting of employees, independent experts, a veterinarian and a member of the animal protection. Ethics Commission has the obligation to adopt the Rules of Procedure.

2010th was adopted a Regulatuin of the welfare od laboratory animals, and began to implemented since May 2011th.

2010th was ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals used in experimental and other scientific purposes.

The greatest progress in Serbia has been made in the field of education through the exchange of live animals to alternative models. Since 2007, at the Medical Faculty inBelgrade all the animal models in teaching was replaced with software alternatives.

Considering that Serbia is just beginning to develop in the direction of scientific progress, we expect increase of the use of animals in scientific research, but under the strict control of the ethical justification of the experiments.

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Translated by: Tatjana Milić Babić