Last Thursday, 25th of January, the first information event on biomedical animal research and animal welfare, the 3Rs principle and the 3Rs methods took place at the Fabritianum as part of our school program. In this two-hour event, the students were not only informed about the 3R principle and biomedical animal research, but they also had the opportunity to express their opinions and ask their questions with the experts from the Animal Welfare Unit of the University of Bonn.
The program consisted of three blocks, starting with a brief introduction to animal research, animal welfare and the legal framework. In the second block, the 3Rs principle and the methods of replacement, reduction and refinement used in research were explained in detail. In the last block, the animal welfare officers of the University of Bonn explained their responsibilities and tasks in order to ensure the best possible animal welfare for biomedical progress. The audience showed great interest and curiosity in the topic, which indicates that there is a great need to further inform young people and involve them more in the social debate.
In coordination with the school management and the school's biology teacher, Dr. Sebastian Olszewski, we offered the 3R Info Day on the premises of the high school. The Fabritianum is a school certified by the MINT-EC network, which strives for excellence in the fields of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences (biology, physics and chemistry) and technology. To underline the importance of the information event, he said: "The pilot event to kick off the cooperation between the 3R Competence Network NRW and the Fabritianum high school in Krefeld as a partner school was a complete success from the point of view of our school community! The idea of combining classic short presentations on the topic of "animal research" with an interactive panel discussion was very well received by the students. This was particularly evident in the intensive, multi-layered and lively discussion. The speakers from the 3R Network showed a high level of commitment and sensitivity in their dialog with the students. We look forward to working together in the future and are sure that we will continue to optimize and expand this great concept together." Our outreach cooperation with the school will continue this year with a discovery day for a selected group of students at RWTH Aachen University.
We are grateful to Dr. Olszewski for opening the doors of the Fabritianum for us. We would also like to thank the Animal Welfare Office of the University of Bonn for their support in preparing and organizing this event.