Ruksenas O. Animals and alternatives in biomedical education in Baltics. ALTEX. 2006;23(Special Issue):78-80


Scientific environment in all three Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – during post-soviet period is comparable therefore review of situation with use of alternatives in biomedical education is based on data from Lithuania.

Use of animals for various biomedical purposes has decreased substantially during the last decade in Lithuania – from 21,000 animals in 1996 to 8,000 in 2004 in total and from 7,000 to 1,400 for teaching particularly. There are several reasons for this decrease: I) Introduction of legislation regulating use and care on laboratory animals; II) demand from students for the use of alternatives in teaching; III) increasing number of available alternative methods and equipment; IV) increasing economy enabling purchase of alternative teaching materials. However, there are some factors limiting more rapid increase in the use of alternatives in education – most of them are relatively expensive, in many institutions of higher education there is lack of computers and modern audio/video equipment necessary for implementation of alternatives, relatively large number of students still have difficulties with foreign languages and this restricts their access to materials in these languages. One of the most attractive and acceptable alternatives to the use of animals is self-experimentation.

Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation