Institute of Agrotechnology, Breeding & Ecology

Department of Agriculture & Agrochemistry

The agreement was facilitated by Dr Alexander Pinsky from the Kharkiv Pedagogical University. He is a true advocated for humane education. His valuable recommendations led to the signing of agreements to replace experiments at three universities.

Prof Valentina Onipko, a colleague of Prof Pinsky, previously worked at the Poltava Pedagogical University. We signed an agreement at her Department of Human and Animal Biology in December 2010. She recently moved to the Agrarian University and decided to promote humane education there.

Despite the escalating war in Ukraine, teaching in Poltava continues to take place in person, unlike in the neighbouring Kharkiv region, where many universities have switched to distance learning.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the number of experiments carried out at the Department of Agriculture and Agrochemistry has decreased significantly.

The department led by Prof Serhiy Pospelov, has shown interest in adopting humane teaching methods. The focus is on studying the species composition and density of soil fauna under different farming systems in the forest steppe of Ukraine. This includes experiments with various beetles, earthworms, field mice and toads.

Prof Serhiy Pospelov is confident that with the provision of the standard set of computer simulations and some technical support, replacing the above-mentioned experiments will be easy to achieve. The introduction of humane teaching methods not only improves higher education, but also helps students to recognise the importance of animal protection. Therefore, it was proposed to sign a memorandum of cooperation between our organisations and the university in addition to the usual agreement.

The department undertakes to cease all experiments and killing of animals (around 20 mice and toads and around 290 invertebrates) from 1 January 2024. On 19 October 2023, the Institute received two refurbished laptops donated by the global network Labdoo, a new projector from DAAE and films and computer programmes on physiology and zoology from DAAE and InterNICHE. 

Humane education in Poltava
From left: Prof Valentina Onipko, Doctor of Pedagogical Science and Associate Professor, Prof Serhiy Pospelov, Head of the department of Agriculture and Agrochemistry, Dmitry Leporsky, Project Co-ordinator, and Prof Mykola Marenych, Head of the Faculty of Agricultural Technology, Breeding and Ecology.