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Proposal to use beagles in rabies virus experiment approved
Central News Agency
2013-12-25 11:24 PM
Taipei, Dec. 25(CNA) A proposed program to use live animals, including 14 young beagles, in rabies virus experiments was given green light Wednesday by experts in a meeting held by the Animal Health Research Institute under the Council of Agriculture (COA). Under the program, 220 specific pathogen free (SPF) mice (instead of 210 reported previously), 36 healthy ferret-badgers and 14 beagles between six to 12 months old will be used for rabies virus experiments as part of a related vaccine research. The project has drawn grave concerns of animal protection activists, including Chu Tseng-hung, chief executive officer of the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan, who urged the authorities not to proceed with the plan. Chu was among nine people attending the review meeting, which was chaired by Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI) Director-General Tsai Hsiang-jung. Other participants include four AHRI officials, former National Laboratory Animal Center Director Liang Shan-chu, and representatives of the Animal Protection Association and the Chinese Taipei Society of Laboratory Animal Sciences. "No voting was held," Chu said, noting that the program won the consent of all animal testing experts at the meeting. In a bid to stop the program from being carried out, Chu said he will file a motion at a planned meeting of the COA's animal protection consultants the next day, suggesting the authorities learn from advanced foreign countries, inviting more experts in various fields to review proposals to use pets (including dogs and cats) or primates in animal testing. If the motion is adopted, the approved program will have to be reviewed again - this time at a bigger experts meeting at the COA, Chu said. (By Yang Shu-min and Elizabeth Hsu)
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