Action AAVS Making a Difference for Animals Animalearn and ARDF Announce $30,000 for Education Alternatives Last year, AAVS’s education division, Animalearn, released “Dying to Learn: Exposing the supply and use of dogs and cats in higher education,” an in-depth report that showed the alarming extent of harmful animal use in teaching at universities. Animalearn found that although education alternatives are quite advanced, some professors still feel using animals is necessary. In an effort to address this problem, Animalearn teamed with AAVS’s affiliate, the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation (ARDF), which has provided funding for alternatives development for over 15 years. Together they launched the Alternatives in Education Grant Program in December 2009. Recently, the Program awarded $30,000 in grants for projects aimed at developing alternative approaches to traditional uses of animals in education and training. All of the successful grant recipients are associated with veterinary colleges, which is no surprise, considering that veterinary students want and deserve a smarter and more compassionate approach to veterinary education. The grantees are developing creative alternatives that help students hone vital clinical and surgical skills without harming animals. Animalearn and ARDF are proud to announce their funded projects: Dr. Mary Rose Paradis, Tufts University’s Veterinary College Equusimulator Another veterinary training alternative, dubbed the Equusimulator, is being developed by a team led by Dr. Paradis. In this project, Dr. Paradis and her team will create two structures to mimic the anatomy and feel of the equine neck, so that veterinary students can refine skills needed for blood collection, IV drug administration and catheterization, and other invasive procedures that can be particularly stressful for large animals. Gwi Hyang Lee, Ph.D. and Dr. Jin Soo Han, Konkuk University Web-based Education Alternatives Platform Affiliated with the Institute for the 3Rs at Konkuk University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in South Korea, Drs. Lee and Han aim to facilitate the refinement, reduction, and replacement of animals in science education. Their project will develop a web-based platform for sharing resources and exchanging ideas regarding alternatives in veterinary medical training. South Korea has recently started to establish laws and implement regulations regarding the use of animals in research, and Lee and Han want to help ensure a humane approach in science, featuring the use of alternatives. 24 2010 Consumer power for animals PHOTOS BY ISTOCKPHOTO (THIS PAGE) AND COURTESY OF ANIMALEARN (OPPOSITE) Dr. Daniel Smeak, Colorado State University Core Surgical Skills Module Dr. Smeak has been a leader in the development of training alternatives for veterinary surgery for several years, and received ARDF’s William and Eleanor Cave Award in 2006 in recognition of his achievements. This year Dr. Smeak receives an Alternatives in Education Grant for his project to develop a new skills-based curriculum called the Core Surgical Skills Module for veterinary training in surgery, an approach that blends high-tech alternatives and clinical experience.