Institute of Animal Technology
Congress AGM Report
Congress in Pictures
CONGRESS 2015 SPECIAL ISSUE
Vol 51 No 6 June 2015
Vol 51 No 6 June 2015
PRC Associates Ltd
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Minutes of 29th IAT AGM
Congress 2015 Feedback
First Time at Congress
Three Minute Interview
June 2015 •
MINUTES OF THE 29TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
OF THE INSTITUTE OF ANIMAL TECHNOLOGY
18.00 hours on Tuesday 17th March 2015
held at the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre,
[This is an abridged version of the minutes of the 29th Annual AGM.
A full set of minutes is available on the IAT website – www.iat.org.uk]
The AGM was Chaired by the IAT President, Robin Lovell-Badge FRS and was
attended by 81 members. Robin Lovell-Badge welcomed everyone to the IAT
Apologies were received from Peter Russell, Glyn Fisher and Jas Barley.
Minutes of the 28th Annual General Meeting of the Institute of
Animal Technology held on 8th April 2014 at Norbreck Castle
The minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Proposed: Wendy Steel
Seconded: Nicky Gent
Matters arising from the minutes
Gail Thompson relayed greetings from Cindy Buckmaster and Robert
There were no matters arising.
There was no correspondence to be covered under this item.
The full IAT Annual Report had been published on the IAT website prior
to Congress 2015.
Steve Owen (SRO), Chair of IAT Council, welcomed everyone to Congress
2015 and thanked Council for all their hard work throughout the year.
SRO then highlighted some areas of the Annual Report.
Acceptance of the Annual Report:
June 2015 •
Proposed: Andy Domone
Seconded: Alan Graham
Glyn Fisher (IAT Treasurer) was unable to attend the IAT AGM, so Charlie
Chambers (CEC) Vice Treasurer, delivered the report on his behalf.
The accounts had been available on the IAT website prior to the AGM.
CEC reported that there had been no expenditure on the apprenticeship
scheme in 2014. A pilot scheme has been running and the full scheme
will begin in 2015.
Council wished to propose several price increases, to come into effect in
– Membership fees have been held for several years now and a rise of
£5 across all membership levels is proposed.
– Registration fees for Level 2 and 3 qualifications to increase from £85
to £97 from 1st September 2015.
– HE Module costs (Levels 4 to 6) increased from £750 to £950 per
module from 1st September 2015.
– Centre accreditation fees to be abolished.
– Journal subscription costs to increase for 2016.
– Moderator fees to increase by £50 from 1st August 2015.
The Financial Report, including the proposed price increases and the
Audited Accounts were proposed.
Proposed: John Gregory
Seconded: Paul Sanders
Appointment of the Auditor
The Treasurer proposed that King Loose be re-appointed as auditors for
2014. This was agreed.
Proposed: Charlie Chambers
Seconded: Theresa Langford
Election of Officers
Council wished to propose Robin Lovell-Badge as President for the
Seconded: John Gregory
8 • June 2015
There was a proposal from Council that Susan Houlton be elected as a
new Vice President, which Alan Graham spoke to.
The following were proposed en bloc as Vice Presidents:
Judy MacArthur Clark
Lord Robert Winston
Seconded: David Smith
Carried with one vote against
There were ten candidates for Council election, so the following
candidates were appointed to serve a three year term:
Proposals for Honorary and Life Membership
Council nominated Sue McHugh for Honorary membership.
Seconded: Adele Kitching
Council nominated Charlie Chambers for Life Membership.
Seconded: Linda Horan
Presentation of Life and Honorary Memberships
At the AGM in 2014, the membership had elected Terry Priest and Trevor
Richards for Honorary Membership, both of whom had been invited to
collect their plaques.
Steven Cubitt spoke to the award for Terry Priest.
Terry accepted his award, expressing much appreciation. Without the IAT
June 2015 •
Terry explained he would not have had the opportunities for the very
fruitful career he had had. Terry reported that he is very excited by the
steps the IAT are taking, particularly in respect of the Apprenticeship
schemes. Terry left school with no qualifications and worked his way
through the IAT qualifications. With changes in education Terry thought
this opportunity had gone but is very pleased to see that it still lives on
through the apprenticeships.
Terry thanked the IAT for his Honorary membership.
Alan Graham spoke to the award for Trevor Richards.
Trevor accepted his award, echoing Terry Priests words and wishing the
IAT well in the future. Trevor congratulated the IAT on being advocates
of career development and welfare issues and hoped the Institute
continues to go from strength to strength.
Trevor had collected his British Empire Medal the day before the AGM
and explained that it was down to the people he worked with who
made it possible for him to take advantage of opportunities provided by
the Institute and that the BEM was for everyone he had worked with.
Also at the 2014 AGM Cathy Godfrey was proposed as a Life Member.
Ken Applebee spoke to the award.
Cathy accepted her award and thanked everyone for what she called a
great honour. Cathy had found her time with the IAT to be very fulfilling
and spoke of the pleasure in seeing members developing throughout
their careers and knowing that in some way she had been involved in that
A plaque was also presented to Wendy Jarrett who was elected in 2014 as
a Vice President. Wendy’s thanks were twofold: she thanked the IAT for
the opportunity to be a VP and for the fantastic job in driving the
Concordat on Openness. Wendy went on to say that the IAT are not just at
the forefront of animal welfare but that animal technologists are the best
advocates of animal research, so thank you to everyone for all they do.
Any Other Business
There being no other business, Robin Lovell-Badge closed the meeting at
18.45 hours and wished everyone an enjoyable Congress.
[For the full unabridged version of the Minutes of the 29th Annual IAT
AGM, please go to:
nlike Congress 2013 in Eastbourne, Congress 2015 in Scotland was not
affected by adverse weather conditions, with no snow to be seen! We
also managed to have one of the best views of the partial eclipse on Friday
morning, for which the clouds briefly parted.
Congress 2015 began with the AGM. This was attended by 81 people and
included highlights from the IAT Annual Report as well as the usual AGM
business. Terry Priest and Trevor Richards received their Honorary Membership
plaques and Cathy Godfrey was awarded with Life Membership. Wendy
Jarrett was also presented with a plaque confirming her election as a
June 2015 •
Proposals for the following year were put to the AGM to award Sue McHugh
Honorary Membership, Sue Houlton as a new Vice-President and Charlie
Chambers for Life Membership. These proposals were carried unanimously and
the awards will be made at the 2016 AGM. An abridged version of the minutes
of the AGM can be found on page 5 and the full version has been uploaded to
the IAT website (www.iat.org.uk).
Presiding over the AGM RtoL – Robin Lovell-Badge (President), Linda Horan
(Honorary Secretary), Steve Owen (Chair of IAT) and Charlie Chambers (Deputy
A full and varied scientific programme took place over Wednesday and
Thursday with 18 papers being presented. After the Congress Chair, Alan
Graham had officially opened the proceedings, we were honoured to have the
past president of FELASA, Dr Jan-Bas Prins, to chair the first session.
This year two of the paper sessions were sponsored. The first by AAALAC
International who are celebrating their 50th anniversary. The three papers
presented during their sponsored session were related to AAALAC
accreditation: what is required and how to retain the status once achieved.
14 • June 2015
Chris Lawrie explaining what AAALAC accreditation has meant for Covance
Clare Sims, a very worthy winner of this year’s Andrew Blake Tribute Award,
receiving her engraved glass plaque from Stephen Barnett (Trustee of AS-ET)
and Robin Lovell-Badge
June 2015 •
The second session was sponsored by AS-ET, celebrating a slightly more modest
5 year anniversary. This session included the winning Andrew Blake Tribute
Award paper – “Refinement in action! Moving from head cap to harness for
cannulating laboratory rats” by Clare Sims. Other papers included updates
from the ASRU and on the Concordat on Openness. Thank you to both
AAALAC and AS-ET for their generous sponsorship.
For the first time this year we recorded the presentations and where presenters
were agreeable, they are now available for viewing on the Members’ section
of the IAT website.
Sadly when adverse weather did set in, it prevented one of our First Time
presenters, Emma Bartlett from flying to Glasgow from Manchester due to bad
fog, so Stuart Hamilton did a sterling job by delivering not only his own paper
but also Emma’s as well. The judging this year of the 3 papers was a very close
call and finally a decision was made to award Sarah Lucas this prestigious prize
for her paper “Improving husbandry routines for mice housed in IVCs”. Our
thanks go to Marshall B&K for their continuing sponsorship of this award.
Roy Sutcliffe presenting Sarah
with her First Time Presenter prize
The Kevin Dolan Memorial Lecture was presented by David Anderson and Terry
Thorpe and was entitled “Changing lives – the guide dog story”. David is a
Trustee for the Guide Dogs and Terry is Mobility Team Manager for the
June 2015 •
Glasgow Mobility Team and they both spoke very passionately about the work
of Guide Dogs. It was a very moving presentation, made more so by the
personal story of Lyn Carse who attended the Lecture with her guide dog Eva.
This year there were 26 posters
which were displayed in the Trade
Exhibition Hall. These covered a
range of topics and species, from
the husbandry of various animals:
Biozzi mice and naked mole rats
to Xenopus, the technicians
themselves and the IAT Career
Pathway. We are grateful to LBS
(Serving Biotechnology) Ltd for
once again sponsoring the Best
Poster award, which this year was
awarded to Haley Forrest for her
poster “The naked mole rat –
husbandry and maintenance”.
The winning poster was chosen
for its informative and interesting
content on such an unusual
Jim Scott presents Haley with her Best
species. The judges also
commented on the poster
displays as a whole, praising the quality of presentation, variety and
informative nature of the posters.
Five workshops were held over the two days. Whilst workshops were
oversubscribed (for one in particular), there was a large number of “noshows”. This meant that workshops did not have the full quota of attendees
and some delegates missed out on being able to attend. The Congress
18 • June 2015
Committee will endeavour to address this issue for next year. Our gratitude
goes to those presenters who agreed, at short notice, to increase the number
of attendees on their workshops to allow more people to attend.
The workshops were well received, with very positive feedback. Workshops
included “Actual severity assessments: practical considerations” which used real
case scenarios as a base for discussions. The workshop on “Scientific / animal
research laboratory as a place to care for animals” followed on from a paper
given earlier in the day and was the first workshop of its kind. For many years
we have been asked for workshops relating to large animal topics and we were
pleased to include this year “Assessing pain in animals using sheep as the main
example”. The RSPCA also had three presenters for their workshop “How to
become involved in the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB)”.
The final workshop was “Introduction to Named Persons” which looked at the
new Named roles and issues people were facing.
Ideas for topics for 2016 would be very welcome. Details on how to apply to
present a workshop will be available on the Congress 2016 section of the IAT
Beth Greenhough and Emma Roe presenting their paper and workshop on
“Scientific / animal research laboratory as a place to care for animals” – the
first of its kind at Congress
The Trade Exhibition was held in Hall 2 at the SECC and provided a large open
arena for stands and lunches to be served. A total of 56 companies exhibited at
Congress 2015 – thank you to them all for their continuing support. We also
welcomed a number of new companies again this year. The exhibition was
officially opened by Bailie Allan Stewart, representing the Lord Provost of
Glasgow. The Lord Provost’s Office had kindly sponsored the wine reception
prior to the opening of the Trade Exhibition. The exhibition was busy
June 2015 •
throughout Congress. Unfortunately
due to last minute layout changes
enforced by the venue on safety
grounds, some exhibitors found
themselves in the far reaches of the
huge venue. The Congress Committee
will be looking at ways to improve the
layout of exhibitions and the flow of
delegates to all the exhibitors next
Bailie Allan Stewart doing the honours
of officially opening the Trade
We are also grateful to the Trade companies
who sponsored the delegate pack items –
Allentown for the bags, Harlan for the mugs
and Hartelust for the pens. This year we also
introduced a new style notebook, which
contained useful information on the venue
and surrounding area, as well as the “At a
Glance” programme for easy reference. It
also offered opportunities for companies to
sponsor pages of the notebook.
It has been previously noted that attending
Congress can be an intimidating experience –
especially for younger technicians or those
attending on their own. So over the past few
years we have introduced an “Ice breaker”
session on Tuesday afternoon. This is usually
combined with a tour of the venue, so that
delegates can become familiar with the
layout of the venue and where events will take place. This has become more
formalised over the last two years and is now a very popular event, with
around 30 delegates attending this year. Delegates are able to meet other
attendees and have fun playing games or line dancing whilst enjoying some
20 • June 2015
Making new friends at the Ice breaker
Wednesday evening saw some local entertainment in the form of a ceilidh.
However, this was a ceilidh with a twist, in that it involved scientific
terminology!! The ceilidh was followed by a disco.
Round and round and round they all went!
June 2015 •
The Gala Dinner took place on the Thursday
evening and was a thoroughly enjoyable
event. Guests were piped into the hall by a
Scottish piper and then enjoyed a very nice
meal. During dinner the North Atlantic
Project, a harp and dobro duo, played
background music. The roadshow then took
over until the early hours of Friday morning.
Following Congress 2015 we issued a feedback survey and we have addressed
issues raised and comments made, in a separate article in this issue of the
Bulletin. Thank you to all those who took the time to complete the survey –
your involvement is very much appreciated.
We hope you enjoyed Congress and we look forward to welcoming you back in
June 2015 •
Congress 2015 – Feedback
ollowing Congress 2015, we conducted a feedback survey with all attendees.
We received responses from 130 delegates and we wanted to share the
responses with IAT members.
There were ten questions:
How would you rate the following aspects of Congress?
85% of respondents rated the location of Congress as Good or Excellent.
Whilst it was mainly Trade Exhibitors who made use of parking facilities
at the venue, 83% of respondents agreed the parking was Good or
Food & Refreshments:
83% of respondents rated the catering aspects of Congress as Good or
96% of respondents felt that the social events were Average or above.
Value for Money:
83% felt that Congress 2015 was Average or above in terms of value for
80% of respondents felt that the Scientific Programme was Good or
82% of respondents rated the accommodation as Average or above.
Did you attend a Workshop?
40 of the respondents attended a workshop.
If the response was No, there was the opportunity of adding a comment
to this answer. Some respondents were trade exhibitors, others felt that
the workshops were not relevant.
24 • June 2015
The majority of the responses however, commented on the process of
booking Workshop places and the fact that Workshops were often fully
booked. In the past on-line pre-booking of Workshops was encouraged.
However, this led to delegates booking on several Workshops and then
not attending. This could be due to double bookings or to the fact that
there was a paper session they wished to attend at the same time.
By ensuring that Workshops are actually booked at Congress it was
hoped that this would eliminate the “no-shows” that occurred with prebooking. Unfortunately this has not proved to be the case. Despite
asking delegates to cancel bookings if they changed their minds, there
was still a high percentage of people not turning up. There is no
deterrent to people not attending Workshops and so the system will be
re-assessed for Congress 2016. We may consider the option to pre-book
and charge for workshop attendance, this works successfully for other
similar conferences. We do operate a “waiting list” system, whereby
delegates can put their names on a reserve list in case of nonattendance.
Were you made to feel welcome at Congress?
98% of respondents felt they had been made to feel welcome at
Did you visit the Trade Exhibition during your time at Congress?
98.5% of respondents visited the Trade Exhibition.
Do you feel the variety of topics covered in the Scientific
Programme is sufficient?
86.18% of respondents felt the variety of topics covered is sufficient.
A later survey question asked for ideas for topics and these will be
considered for future events.
This question asked respondents to rank in order of importance
various aspects of Congress.
Overall the rankings were as follows, where 1 is the most important and
6 the least important:
1. Platform Presentations
2. Poster Presentations
4. Trade Exhibition
5. Social Events
6. A mix of all the above.
26 • June 2015
Are there any specific topics which would interest you for a
This was a “free text” answer, and ideas included:
G “leadership academy” type of workshop
G experimental design and choice of control animals
G alternatives to the use of animals in scientific procedures
G feedback on NACWO exchanges
G training & competence
G health & safety in the animal house environment
G work involving fish
G more aquatics and management subjects
G continued updates on HO matters
G large animals
G managing staff
All the topics suggested will be considered for future Congresses.
However, if there is an area which interests you particularly, why not
consider submitting a paper, or encouraging others to present papers on
Would you like to suggest a social event for a future Congress?
Again, this was a “free text” response option. There were lots of
suggestions, and they will be considered.
Some of the suggestions were:
– A variety of options: this may result in people not being able to do
what they want, as there would be limited numbers available for
each activity. It would be impossible to estimate numbers!
– Quiz: we usually try and have a quiz every other year! In 2014 we
had a Wine & Cheese Quiz which was very popular. There were
comments that the restricted numbers made it unfair that everyone
could not attend but unfortunately we had to limit numbers due to
the venue size, plus the amount of cheese and wine we had to
purchase in advance. There was no way to estimate who would want
– Attract more people to the Ice Breaker session: there was a
comment that this event should not only be available to new
delegates. This is not and has never been the case. Any delegates
can attend the Ice Breaker session and the familiarisation tour of the
– Fancy dress: delegates do not always want to bring fancy dress with
June 2015 •
them, especially if they are flying or travelling by train and having to
carry extra luggage. However, this will be considered.
– Live bands: it can be very difficult to try and find an affordable live
band which will appeal to all delegates. We will try to find local
bands though in future to play alongside a roadshow.
– Off-site visits to places of local interest: it is hard to gauge what the
uptake will be for this type of social event, so organising transport is
Would you recommend Congress to others?
97% of respondents would recommend Congress to others.
Q10 Do you have any comments on Congress, or any suggestions on
how we can improve Congress in the future?
57% of respondents made a comment. These were mainly related to the
Trade Exhibition and accommodation.
Overall the feedback was very positive and the Congress Committee will
work with Council to consider all the suggestions and comments from
the feedback for future events.
Why can you not accommodate all delegates in one venue?
It is very difficult to find venues that can accommodate over 400
delegates as well as provide an exhibition area of a suitable size, a
lecture theatre, breakout rooms for workshops and space for lunches and
refreshment breaks. There are very few venues that tick all the boxes.
We do however try to accommodate all delegates within short walking
distance of the main venue.
There was a big difference in the standard of the hotels in Glasgow but
the cost per delegate was the same. This does not seem very fair.
The Congress Committee appreciate that there was a difference in hotel
standards this year although the negotiated rates in 3 of the 4 hotels
were very similar. We have always tried to offer delegates a package
price for ease of booking and payment. However, we continue to
evaluate each venue and we may consider costing the package
differently if multiple hotels are required.
Why can we not have exclusive use of a venue?
Many major hotels such as the ones used in Glasgow have contracts with
other companies that have to be honoured. It would be hugely expensive
28 • June 2015
to book the whole venue for exclusive use. Venues such as Blackpool was
a venue that ticked many of the boxes but feedback suggested that the
quality of the venue was poor.
Why is the rate advertised on the hotel websites often cheaper than the
price delegates are paying for Congress?
Hotel room rates vary almost daily on websites in a similar way to airline
seats. The IAT Congress venues are often booked 18 months in advance
and we do negotiate room rates at that time. The delegate fee is a
package price which includes a lot more that the Bed & Breakfast rate
offered by the hotel.
Can there be a registration fee for those attending on one day only?
The IAT Congress has for many years offered a day delegate rate which
includes lunch and refreshment and access to all presentations,
workshops and posters as well as entry to the Trade Exhibition. It does
not include an evening meal nor accommodation.
It would have been more appropriate to locate the refreshments and
lunch in the Trade Exhibition to attract more delegates to the exhibition.
Depending on the size of the venue, we will always endeavour to locate
the refreshments and lunches in the exhibition. In Glasgow, refreshments
were located in the centre of the exhibition and lunches in the adjacent
hall. We do try to encourage all delegates to visit the exhibition during
these break times and indeed many exhibitors commented positively on
the volume of visitors during the breaks. 98.5% of the feedback
respondents stated that they did visit the exhibition.
Some exhibitors seemed cut off. The layout of the exhibition was not
very well thought out.
The congress committee and the trade exhibition manager works hard to
design a floor plan that meets the many requirements and requests of
exhibitors, complies with the venues health & safety requirements and
allows a flow of visitors to all areas. Unfortunately in Glasgow the layout
of the exhibition was altered by the venue the week before the
Congress. Originally the exhibition was to be more compact with more
space around the outside of the layout. The venue requested wider
walkways and a layout that aligned with the unusual power ducts in the
hall. This spread the exhibition out towards the walls thus creating dead
spaces. We apologise to those exhibitors that were affected by this last
minute alteration and we will work closely with venues in the future to
prevent a reoccurrence of this. Unfortunately on this occasion we had
very little control over the venue’s request.
June 2015 •
The food was very spicy and there was not a lot of choice.
Food is always very difficult to judge, as everyone has their own likes and
dislikes. We will take on board that the food on Wednesday night was
felt to be too spicy by some delegates and we will try to ensure that
there are more options in future. However, the Gala Dinner will remain
as a set menu (with a vegetarian option) as it would be impractical to
offer a served dinner with a choice on that scale. Delegates are
encouraged to highlight any dietary requirements on the Registration
June 2015 •
My first time at the IAT Congress
have been working in this industry for 3 years and I was already aware of the
IAT annual Congress thanks to all of the enthusiastic stories from my
colleagues from the Imperial College South Kensington unit.
When I was asked to join the Congress, I was excited to participate in such a
great event but I did not know exactly what to expect. It was a very
informative experience with several inspiring talks and a relaxed atmosphere
where everyone was exchanging stories and experiences.
The first formative opportunity started very early, just a few hours before the
Congress actually. On the train to Glasgow I practiced my English vocabulary by
playing Scrabble with my colleagues. It was very entertaining:
I just had a glimpse of Glasgow from the cab but we arrived at the conference
centre in only a few minutes. The site was really big and quite confusing but
fortunately, during the registration, they gave us the programme along with a
map with all of the different venues marked on it.
In the late afternoon, after a few hours of relaxation in the hotel, the Congress
got started. Everyone went to the Annual General Meeting. I was very happy
to see my ex-colleagues from Kings College and to have dinner with them. It
was the first Congress for all of us and I am sure everyone could tell, especially
from my lost looking face.
It was incredible to see how many stands there were in the exhibition hall and
to have the chance to speak and give feedback to all of the manufacturers and
sales people from some of the companies that we use every day. During the
Congress I was also in charge of asking for information about different
enrichment products for an Imperial College study and honestly it wasn’t
difficult at all. After one hour my bag was literally full of enrichment product
samples, gifts and a lot of different kinds of pens.
The next day after a full English breakfast (the second in two days) I attended
all the talks in the morning session. One of my favourites was “Improving
husbandry routines for mice housed in IVCs” presented by a technician from
UCL. It’s great to see just one way of how we can improve the welfare and the
husbandry of the animals in our care.
32 • June 2015
Support Understanding Animal Research
Understanding Animal Research is now supported by individuals as well as
organisations. If you want to take an active role in showing why animals are
necessary in research, then being a supporter is for you.
Support Understanding Animal
You care about the use of
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You want others to
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Supporting Understanding Animal
Regular updates on our activities
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Paget Memorial Lecture
Membership of a supportive and
Annual supporter subscriptions cost just £25. Your
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Sign up now at
June 2015 •
In the evening we had dinner all together and then I was amused by watching
my colleagues dancing to some very intricate Scottish music. I also had the
chance to chat with some technicians and managers from other units.
The third day (third English breakfast!) after a brief visit to the trade
exhibition, I participated in the workshop, “Introduction of Named Persons”.
I really appreciated getting to work in a group with different people from
different units, sharing ideas and questions on what could be done to improve
the roles of the newest named persons (NTCO, NIO).
The Gala Dinner was a great conclusion to the event:
lots of new friends
dance and some good wine
To sum up, it was a very enlightening experience where I had the chance to
understand the real essence of this small but tight-knit community.
I left the Congress very motivated and with tons of ideas (and pens!) to share
with my colleagues. It was very inspiring to meet many of the people that
created this industry as well as the new generation that will grow it into the
Imperial College, London
34 • June 2015
Three Minute Interview
IAT Life Member, retired
Describe yourself in 3 words
Quietly determined and thoughtful.
What is your earliest memory?
Standing in the middle of a field
surrounded by cows with my two year
old sister who was crying her eyes
out, I was four and already animal
When you were at school, what or
who did you want to be and why?
George Cansdale, he presented an
animal programme on children’s
television from London Zoo.
What was the first music album you bought?
Cannot remember, either the Shadows or the Beatles and I still have the
majority of the Beatles songs.
If you could have dinner with one person, who would that be and why?
David Attenborough, I met him once at Bristol Zoo, he is such an unassuming
man but what a life he has had.
What is the best advice you have been given?
Always treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself.
What is your next goal in life?
To live long enough to win the British National Carving Championships, that
way I should get to live for ever.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you choose and
Costa Rica, lovely people and fantastic wildlife especially the birds.
June 2015 •
What is your favourite quote or saying?
Patience is a virtue, I still need to work on it!
What is the most important thing your job has taught you?
Say it as it is.
Cup of tea or stiff drink?
Cup of coffee closely followed by a fine malt.
Last book you read?
Winter of the World, Ken Follett.
Name something that annoys you?
Impolite people especially those who are rude to those they consider beneath
their own status.
Printable most embarrassing moment?
When working at the zoo, having just had the tip of a finger bitten off, as I
came out of the ape house kitchen into a packed ape house I was asked by an
elderly lady if the Chimpanzee had just bitten me. When I replied yes, she said
I thought he had and didn’t think you would have called him that otherwise! I
still don’t know what I called him but could have a good guess!
Hobbies or interests
Wood carving, birding, gardening and unsuccessful fly fishing.
36 • June 2015
AS-ET 5th Anniversary Year
AS-ET at the IAT Congress
The IAT Congress is a busy time for AS-ET. It is the time when we get the
opportunity to talk to delegates to explain what we do and to meet with our
sponsors and supporters. It is also a time when we try to raise money so we can
continue to support education and promote excellence in the care and welfare of
animals used in science.
In all £1,644 was raised for AS-ET during the meeting. £1,011 of that came from the
silent auction organised by Elaine Kirkum held at the Trade reception. We also
received £483 from the proceeds of the Congress Passport Competition, organised
by Nicky Windows at Datesand. Added to this we received £150 in donations from
delegates. We are grateful to trade exhibitors, the organisers and the delegates
whose efforts and generosity raised this magnificent amount.
It has now become a tradition that the AS-ET reception is held just before the Gala
Dinner on the last night of Congress. This event is generously sponsored by the IAT.
The reception gives us a chance to thank the sponsors (Fig 1) and supporters (Fig 2)
who are essential to the success of AS-ET.
If you would like to become a sponsor or supporter please go to our website
Fig. 1 AS-ET Corporate Sponsors
Fig. 2. AS-ET Official Supporters
June 2015 •
AS-ET is a charity to advance education and promote excellence in the care and
welfare of animals used in science.
Sponsors of AS-ET are listed below and to find out more please visit the website
Congress in pictures
17th – 20th March 2015
Animal Technology – advancing comparative biology
Alan multi-tasking(!) as Registrar and Chair of
the Congress Committee
Hande, Amy and Zoe were at the Trade
Nice smiles all round!
As were Marc, Katy, Matthew and
Sarah from UCL
A very special guest, Dr Jan-Bas
Prins chairing the first session
Mikaella Bennie from Venomtech
presenting on Wednesday
Adele Duran from the University of
Sheffield (co-presenting with Mark
Gardiner from MRC) on Thursday
Susannah Parkin from the University of Kent giving her Poster Presentation
Andy Dickinson from Surrey Diagnostics giving his Poster Presentation
Selena Hopkins from Wellcome Trust Genome Campus discussing her poster
We couldn’t possibly publish every official photo taken at Congress
so we have uploaded all of them to the Members’ section at
www.iat.org.uk for your viewing pleasure!
44 • June 2015
2 01 5
June 2015 •
North East Branch Symposium and AGM
n 11 February 2015 the North East Branch of the IAT held a symposium and
AGM at the University of Sheffield with the support of the trade.
The subject was ‘Zoos and Labs – What’s the Difference?’ and several speakers
from both laboratories and zoos came along to talk to us about their
experiences in these different areas.
Opening the symposium was Matt Brash, NVS from York University and vet at
Flamingo Land, speaking in his zoo capacity. This was an interesting talk
examining whether conservation should outweigh welfare in modern zoos.
These have become the last refuge for the breeding of some endangered
species but space is obviously limited. Is it right to breed animals, no matter
how endangered, if their future as individuals are uncertain? Should culling
take place in certain cases or can spaying solve problems? This talk looked at
some of these cases and the role of the zoo’s ethical review in decision making.
(This is a subject which is dear to my heart.)
The second talk of the morning was from Philip Damiani from Harlan
Laboratories speaking about Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Laboratory
Animals. As Global Head of Embryology and Transgenic Support, Philip
certainly understood his subject. He discussed whether recent advances in
laboratory animal production (superovulation, embryo transfer,
cryopreservation etc.), can be of use in the rescue of endangered species. It
would be nice to think that they can.
Lunch was a communal affair offering a great array of culinary delights,
especially welcome for opportunistic feeders like me. We visited the trade
stands, which were set up in a side room, offering information, ideas and free
gifts as always. As it was almost Valentine’s day the free red silk roses from
Agenda’s stand were especially popular.
Our two afternoon sessions started with Gerry Creigton, operations manager
from Dublin Zoo with his lovely talk about ‘The Future of the Asian Elephant’.
Interspersed with video footage of the elephants (and primates) in their
enclosures (including the arrival of a new male and the birth of baby
elephants), this made for very interesting and entertaining viewing and Gerry’s
enthusiasm for his animals was obvious and heart-warming.
We finished the day with Chris Loaring from Venomtech talking about
‘Minding the Point End – Refining Venomous Snake Management for the
46 • June 2015
IAT Midlands Branch
22nd September 2015; 11:00-15:00
Free registration and details from:
June 2015 •
Laboratory’. There must be some who believe that technicians deliberately
choosing to work with deadly snakes are certifiable. I actually like snakes but
seeing pictures of people handling the poisonous snakes and the result of the
damage they cause, did nothing to change opinion. Yet the toxins from the
snakes are such valuable tools that somebody has to do it. This talk explained
the novel husbandry methods that Venomtech have devised to minimise the
risks to the staff whilst also improving the welfare of the snakes.
As well as the interesting talks, we also had a raffle offering as prizes a
number of lovely photographic prints taken at Dublin zoo. Not being very
lucky in raffles I was personally delighted to win one of the pictures. The
mangabey monkey looks out from his frame at all who visit our home.
University of Sheffield
AS-ET Fifth Anniversary Fundraising Ball
Tickets are still available for the AS-ET fifth anniversary ball to be held on
5th September at the London Metropole Hotel. There will be excellent food,
a guest speaker, a charity auction and dancing until 1am.
Tickets are £75.00 each.
Last month three of the auction lots were advertised in the Bulletin and this
month there are two more. Bids can now be placed for any of these lots:
Lot 4 – Two tickets for the Rugby World Cup semi-final
Lot 5 – A bottle of Talisker Storm single malt whisky
To book tickets for the ball or to place bids for auction lots, please contact
48 • June 2015
Edinburgh Branch Annual Skittles Match
ednesday 29th April saw the Edinburgh branch gather for our annual
skittles match at the Sheep’s Head which once again was kindly
sponsored by Harlan.
Once the teams were drawn into the Alley cats and the Badgers, the battle
commenced but it was a pretty one sided affair with the Alley cats coming out
as the winning team with 718 points compared to the Badgers measly 545
Within the teams there were a number of keenly contested matches: Ian
Fielding bowled against Walter Swan, from Harlan with Tecniplast winning the
battle of the reps.
There was also Tecniplast service engineers Douglas and Callum facing each
other and I am glad to report a win for Scotland with Douglas winning that
We had a husband and wife contest with Sally Carpenter versus Chris
Carpenter, resulting in a win for the ladies.
There was a father and son battle between Jeff Allard and Julianno Allard with
old age coming out on top.
Senior animal techs Gordon Melville faced Keith Chalmers with Gordon beating
last year’s champ.
Simon Cumming beat Janice Young in a Western general contest.
There was an encounter between retired techs Val Thomson and Mary Brady
which saw Val winning.
As there were only 15 people Alastair Russell did not have a match but he was
the champion on the night, so many congratulations to him.
With a lovely buffet and drinks flowing freely, a great night was had by all.
Roll on next year when we do it again.
Branch Reporter (and ex skittles champ)!
June 2015 •
LASA 3Rs Meeting – Birth to
Study; 3Rs Animal Development
South of England
LASA 3Rs Meeting – Birth to
Study; 3Rs Animal Development
South of England
North West Branch Visit to
Alistair Reid Venom Research
RSPCA/APHA Welfare of Wild
Animals used in Research
South East England
West of Scotland & Edinburgh
Branch Edinburgh Zoo Trip
NC3Rs/IAT Animal Technicians’
See page 49
The Marlborough Arms, London
See page 44
See page 47
Midlands Branch Trade Day
See page 46
LASA Winter Meeting
South of England
Cover photo: Lyn Carse’s Guide dog, Eva by Ingenting Ltd (photographer!)