Dear ACURET Friends and Colleagues,
As 2020 draws to a close, we wanted to take this opportunity to send our thanks for your ongoing support for ACURET in a challenging and difficult year. Whilst COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in much suffering and sadness, it has also caused us to re-think the big picture on the challenges to the use of research animals from the regulatory standpoint.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated plainly that animal studies are an indispensable part of fundamental and applied research and also essential for the development of new medical treatments. Animals are important for understanding how immunity to pathogens develops after infection, but more importantly, for testing the efficacy, safety, and the mode of action of new vaccines. An appreciation of fundamental biology of different animal species is critical to selection of animal models for human and veterinary disease evaluations, as shown by the use of mice in the study for COVID-19. While increased funding for animal-free innovations is certainly a positive development, funding for animal research remains necessary to secure our future health, as alternatives will never fully replace animal research.
Hence, we at ACURET.ORG strongly urge everyone who use animals in teaching, research or testing to comply with evidence-based regulations to make animal research as efficient and effective as possible such that rapid responses to newly emerging health threats can be achieved.
We are expectant about the potential for 2021. We will continue developing our ‘digital’ capabilities by enhancing our website and optimize its user friendliness in order to capture the VLE for some of our training programmes. Watch out for these.
With the recent roll-out of vaccines and continued deployment, we are optimistic that many may be able to gather in Nigeria later in October for ‘Abuja 2021’ to celebrate a decade of ACURET – promoting humane animal care and use for scientific purposes in developing countries. Those who cannot participate in person will have an opportunity to attend on-line in what we intend will be our first hybrid conference!
We would like to extend an invitation to everyone who has been a participant in any programme/event of ACURET in the last decade to join in this celebration, member or not. And speaking about membership, ACURET.ORG will be rolling out a membership census. This is an opportunity to join, if you are not yet a member or to renew your membership, if you registered before. Watch out for this. All members will be certified during the Abuja celebrations in October 2021. Save the date!
Looking forward to high research integrity and quality assurance in animal-based research through the next decade in Africa
In the meantime, we wish you all a healthy, happy and peaceful New Year.
The ACURET Team