Scientific progress instead of cruelty

To achieve complete rejection of testing cosmetics and household chemicals on animals and to move towards the use of safe ethical alternativ

Photo of Анна Трифонова
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:

  • Yes, I’m eligible
  • Yes, I’m 18 years old or older

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:

  • Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
  • The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020

Initiative's representative name

Anna Trifonova

Initiative's representative date of birth

6061977

Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • Russia

Headquarters location: city

Saint-Petersburg

Where are you making a difference?

Russia

Website or social media url(s)

www.cellstandard.ru www.instagram.com/cell.standard/

Date Started

March 2019

Focus Areas

  • Fostering emotional intelligence and behavioural competences
  • Re-imagining the role of pets in society
  • Ethical treatment of animals

What is your current yearly budget for the initiative? If you are an idea stage, what early budget you would need to kick-off and run operations in your first year?

  • €10k - €50k

Organisation Type

  • nonprofit/NGO: an organisation that uses its resources to achieve a purpose outside of creating profit

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

I was studying biology for a long time and seeing how animals suffer in laboratories. So I began to think more often: "is there a way to avoid such cruelty?". One day, while conducting an experiment on cell cultures, I've got an idea: "why are we still testing cosmetics on animals, if we can do it on artificially grown cells?!". I went deeper into the study of this issue and saw that several countries have already abandoned the use of animals in laboratory tests and moved to alternative methods, including cells. But when I wanted to start using these methods in our country, I was faced with a number of difficulties that could not be handled alone. That's when I decided to create a Foundation and start change the world together.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

We are working on an acute ethical problem — the use of animals in the testing of cosmetics and household chemicals in Russia. Every day, thousands of tamed animals suffer and die in laboratories. They have been given a life full of pain and fear. At the same time, conditions that make it possible to ensure the transition to modern, ethical and reliable alternative methods that can replace animal testing already exist in our country.

3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We plan to start working in three directions. Educational activities: attracting the attention of the Russian society to the problem of unjustified testing of cosmetics on animals and providing opportunities for its solution. Research activities: adaptation and implementation of modern, more accurate, reliable and safe methods in Russian practice, which is testing on cell cultures. The legal direction: developing and promoting the introduction of new state testing standards that allow applying the obtained methods. After that, amendments to the standards and technical regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union aimed at banning the testing of cosmetics and household chemicals on animals.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

Unlike the vast majority of animal protection organizations operating in Russia, we have focused our efforts on only one aspect of animal protection – to stop the senseless torment and death of animals in laboratories. We are not just calling for the use of animals to be abandoned, we are offering a replacement: full transition to ethical methods. We want people to become more humane and kinder to animals, and at the same time, they do not have to change their way of life and give up the usual things and comfort. This experience already exists in the world. To ensure all this, we collaborate with laboratories and scientists in the field of biology. Our path is scientific progress instead of cruelty.

5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?

People often depersonalize living things without thinking about how many small lives are behind that tube of cream or painkillers that we use so often. Meanwhile, these are exactly the same animals as our pets, who live with us, almost becoming members of our families. Those who have experienced this problem can no longer remain indifferent. Understanding the need to change the situation contributes to the development of people's compassion in our society, makes us more empathetic to animals and each other makes it easier to get closer to each other and establish cooperation. Our Foundation raises and helps to overcome such serious social problems as indifference and cruelty to animals.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Our program not only makes society more humane to animals but also contributes to the development of science and improvement of verification methods. Manufacturers of cosmetics and household chemicals will be able to make their products safer and better for consumers, and society will be able to become more attentive to the lives of pets. Europe has set an example to the world by being the first to abandon animal testing and demonstrate that it only benefits. And the whole world should follow this example. The progress of our work will be easy to assess by the number of companies that have abandoned the use of laboratory animals in research. A ban on testing will be the success of our Foundation. To date, we have achieved cooperation with a biological laboratory that develops and adapts research methods on cell cultures and continue to work to change public opinion in Russia.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

We plan to develop an ethical and innovative direction at the international level. Our goal is to completely ban animal testing worldwide, which is not possible without simultaneously developing and including alternative methods of product quality control in various regulatory documents. In the future, we plan to work together with animal welfare Funds around the world.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

A very important task of the Foundation is to spread the truth following in Russian society: the life of any animal is valuable. If we can give up torturing and killing animals in laboratories without harming ourselves, then we must do it! Our Foundation's educational activities are aimed at spreading this idea. It is impossible to contrast manufacturers of cosmetics and those who use it, laboratory workers who test drugs on animals now and animal rights activists. We are all one society. If we learn that any life, even a small one, is important, then we will all work together to make our society more humane and ourselves better.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

The implementation of a single state standard for testing cosmetics and household chemicals on cell cultures costs €13050. At the moment we have to translate 20 projects. It means we need €261000 to create new alternatives. The verification of one method will be within 6 months. Our activity will include some necessary expenses: a specialized translator is €450, a biotechnologist is €4500 (€750 per month), legal maintenance is €600, monthly expenses is €500 (€3000 for 3 months). The total is €13050. We have a long-term program for several years. Now we are promoting the dissemination of information about the Foundation to attract as many organizations as possible for cooperation.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Our Foundation now employs three people United by a common idea: to make the world more ethical and humane to animals. Our leader is Anna Trifonova, a scientist and researcher, PhD in biology, who has been studying cell biology for a long time. Anna is the founder and organizer of our Foundation. Lyubov Alieva is a volunteer, medical student. Anton Aderkas is a volunteer, psychology master's degree student. The Fund also has a Board of Trustees to oversee the activities of our Fund.

11. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize?

We will start implementing a program for adapting and implementing alternative testing methods in Russia. We are going to submited several methods for review and approval as State Standards to replace existing methods of testing cosmetics with more effective and ethical methods. This work will create a methodological basis for testing the safety and effectiveness of cosmetics without the use of animals, only after which it will be possible to legally ban the testing of cosmetics, and then household chemicals on animals in our country. Part of the award will be directed to educational activities to further promote this idea in our country. All this will be the foundation on which we will confidently build a society without cruelty.

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Article in the news

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