The day after the UCLA Pro-Test rally I headed to Ystad in Sweden to give a presentation to a conference held by the Scandanavian Society for Lab Animal Science (Scand-LAS). Exhibitors of new and innovative lab animal equipment showed off the latest developments in reduction, replacement and refinement. For example, one firm offered an automatic blood sampling machine which would be hooked up to a mouse by catheter. Precise amount of blood being drawn meant that less mice could be used to attain small amounts of blood, and the mouse was happier since it would not need to be be removed from its cage to have blood drawn – reduction AND refinement. Talks at the conference varied – with talks informing technicians on the best methods of housing and feeding zebrafish, as well as presentations on the latest studies on Cystic Fibrosis.
The meeting did draw a small number of animal rights protesters who came out at 11pm to stand outside and shout slogans. When approached the protesters backed off, unwilling to debate those at the conference. Sadly for the protesters their efforts ended up appearing quite farsical – indeed it seemed odd for them to be protesting an event full of the animal care technicians and veterinarians whose job it is to look after the animals wellbeing.
My presentation – the final of the three day conference – was well received. It had undergone some major alterations on the plane from LA as I included some footage and information about the success of the UCLA Pro-Test rally on April 22nd. Many people seem keen to help write information for Speaking of Research – and all in all the event was fun and interesting!