Winners of 2014's Training Prize, ANAW, (African Network for Animal Welfare) are a non-government organisation that promote the humane treatment of animals across the Africa region.
In Kenya, animals including rats, mice, primates, farmed animals, dogs and cats are tested on for education, research and experimentation purposes. Thankfully, the Africa Network for Animal Welfare, proud winners of our 2014 Lush Prize for training, are fighting to promote the humane treatment of animals.
In a baseline survey conducted by the group in 2010, 62% of universities and biomedical laboratories in Kenya had no set official threshold on the number of animals that could be used in experiments. Thresholds that were in place were often based on little more than budgetary restrictions.
In fact, in 2011 a report of thirty-nine institutions revealed that 97.4% were using animals for education and/or research purposes.
ANAW took a hands-on approach to protecting animals across the Africa region. Through a combination of open debate forums, discussions and workshops they educated students and staff on viable alternatives to animal tests. They also built a collection of manikins, injection pads, POP (pulsatile organ perfusion) trainers and CD and DVD aids for external use.
Now, they have even bigger plans. The organisation are fully furnishing their library with complete kits to substitute use of animals in research. The collection will also have an important community-driven fascet, offering replacement materials that are locally-available.
To maximise the impact of this extensive project the group are also undertaking an outreach campaign. Universities, colleges and biomedical research laboratories will be encouraged to adopt these readily available solutions. The desired aim is that awareness of alternatives will lead to the replacement of laboratory animals completely, with research centres and professional organisations benefiting from the group's resource centre.
There's a long way to go, but the passionate group doesn't show any sign of tiring soon.
To find out more about the Africa Network for Animal Welfare head to http://www.anaw.org/.