Dear Delegate,

The Covid-19 situation continues to deteriorate, and the Scottish government has advised that organisers should cancel or postpone all mass events of 500 people or more. Moreover, the statement by Boris Johnson yesterday evening (16th March) stressed similar themes on the need to minimise gatherings.  The AST2020 organising committee is immensely frustrated by the predicament we all find ourselves in, but it is clear that the event is not viable. Therefore, AST2020 will not take place.

We share everyone’s disappointment that what would have been a great showcase for laboratory animal science and technology will not occur. And we acknowledge people’s concern that a definitive decision was not made sooner – we had to follow due process. We sincerely apologise if our previous communications suggested that our delay in making this announcement was due to financial considerations. To clarify: LAVA, because of its size, was always exempt from fiscal responsibility, and because of the turmoil caused by Covid-19, IAT and LASA would not have taken any profit under any circumstances. We hope that your previous interactions with all three organisations will give you confidence that we would never put people’s or animals’ welfare anywhere other than first and foremost.

There is a great deal of administrative work still to be done; please bear with us while we process outstanding actions.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has given us support at this difficult time. The animal research community shares strong bonds, and we hope that the impact Covid-19 might have on your personal as well as professional lives is minimal.

Yours sincerely,

AST2020 Organising Committee