PROGRAM

FELASA CONGRESS 2016: BRUSSELS REVISITED

Scientific sessions will start at 9:00 am on Monday June 13th 2016 and end at approximately 1:30 pm on Thursday June 16th.
Program at a glance

Detailed program

Session suggestions

THANK YOU ALL!!
The scientific committee has received a lot of suggestions for sessions, actually more than would fit in the program. Obviously, some topics are ‘hot’ and there were some similarities between suggestions received, but the variety was rich, too. Also, people have offered their help. All this is very valuable and much appreciated.
The scientific committee will now consider everything received in composing complete and balanced streams.
No new suggestions for sessions will be taken.

The scientific committee will get back to all suggestion submitters in a few weeks and also take up offers for help where feasible.

Streams

The concept of streams allows participants to navigate more easily through the program and experience no difficult choices regarding their main areas of interest.

Below, the content of each stream is explained.

A. Models by design

Animals used for research typically represent a larger population. Sometimes, animals model for animals (e.g. new pharmaceutical formulas for veterinary use) but more often a suitable animal model is sought as a stand in. Also, developing technologies are used to improve and refine animal models in a way that the outcomes address mechanisms in addition to the effects of experimental approaches and the scientific questions they are to resolve. Nonetheless, experimental design is critical to acquire meaningful and reproducible results. Finally, we’re confronted with a wealth of scientific information in need of critical analysis and appropriate use. These topics include:

  • Model validity
  • Experimental design
  • Experimental detail in scientific reporting
  • Toolkits (imaging, genetic modification, markers, ‘organ on a chip’)
  • Wealth of information (synthesis of evidence: big data, data-sharing, systematic reviews)
  • Advances in selected research areas not included in other streams

B. One health

The concept of ‘one health’ has been warmly adopted by the veterinary and human health communities alike. It is based on what animals and humans have in common, such as infectious diseases but also others like metabolic diseases and cancer. Similarly, animals and humans are exposed to the same environmental factors ranging from environmental pollutants to antimicrobials promoting microbial resistance.
This stream hosts a number of topics all based on the fact that animals and humans have much in common regarding health issues, itemized:

  • Animal models of animal/human infectious disease
  • Non-infectious diseases that animals have in common with humans
  • Zoonoses (incl. domestic and feral animals)
  • High containment research (BSL3/4)
  • Why we sometimes need NHP
  • Indicator organisms for environmental issues

C. What animals tell us

Animals tell us a lot of things regarding their wellbeing. This stream addresses welfare topics to be analysed and addressed by increasing awareness on what’s going on in animal’s bodies and minds. The increasing significance of neuroscience research in animals, in part aiming to manage the increasing load of neural diseases in humans, can be used better to help address animal welfare issues as well. For an integrated approach, the stream includes:

  • Behavioural science
  • Neuroscience
  • Models of human disease – quality of animal life
  • Clinical assessment including recognition of pain/distress
  • Severity assessment (prospective/retrospective)

D. On the safe side

This stream deals with the topics regarding animal and human safety. Human safety working with animals in a laboratory setting brings the needs for risk management. But also animals should be kept safe by the management of their health and wellbeing and procedures should follow best practices as these are developed over time. So, animal and human safety are combined one stream that will also deal with new insights of facility design, itemized:

  1. Occupational health and safety (OHS)
  2. Health Monitoring in various species
  3. Safe working practices
  4. Best practices for procedures
  5. Provisions for animals (husbandry and care, quality of feed and water, safe enrichment devices, noise exclusion)
  6. Trends in facility design incl. ‘green’

E. One Europe

Europe is not just a geographical entity, it is an area of the world with shared values and common history. Politically, Europe is more or less unified by bodies such as the Council of Europe and the European Union. But also science and technology are developing by intense international collaboration. Hence strategies, methods and professional competences are merging. To capture that, this stream is on strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory and human resources developments occurring internationally:

  • Competence management/ education and training/ mobility of professionals
  • Designated vet – functions and expertise
  • Scope –regulated procedures (incl. animals in/from the wild)
  • 3Rs programmes
  • Program accreditation (establishment)

F. Governance

Given the moral status of animals in our part of the world, there are genuine concerns in society about the instrumental use of animals in research. These concerns regard not only animal welfare but also the ethical justification of animal use. Bottom line, we need to explain our work and our attitude better to justify animal use in view of the real societal interests at stake. Public trust is to be maintained and gained by effective regulations and oversight, and above all by better communication. This is true for all areas of research but especially urgent in the case of animal use. Thus, this stream will be devoted to topics on ethics, oversight, accountability and public communication:

  • Developments in internal and external oversight
  • Competent authorities
  • Animal welfare bodies (by types of establishments/ types of animals)
  • Ethical review process
  • NTSes and impact on public information
  • Active information of the public, accountability

 

logo COST     We thank COST for their contributions to the program

 

RSPCA logo RSPCA Program:

A conference of the RSPCA: Focus on severe suffering starting immediately following the conclusion of the FELASA 2016 congress and continuing on Friday June 17th will be organised at the same venue. Registration is free. You can register and find more information on the event website or email research.animals@rspca.org.uk.