Stop abusing animals for science research - NSPCA

2019-04-25 05:25
A lab rat. (file)

A lab rat. (file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Animals should not be used for research purposes, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has said.

The animal rights organisation, which was observing World Day for Lab Animals on Thursday, said that SA needed a well regulated Animal Ethics Committee to oversee animals in research.

"The use of animals in research, teaching, and testing is not a right, but a privilege. It is incumbent upon every researcher and teacher to ensure that privilege is not abused," Esté Kotzé, NSPCA deputy CEO, told News24.

READ: NSPCA to investigate brutal attack on live kudu

She added that increased concern for research animals in SA was changing methodologies of teaching and testing.

"Anyone wanting to use animals for research, teaching and testing needs to provide a research application to an Animal Ethics Committee in order for the application to be reviewed by a panel or committee.

"The committee must consist of a veterinarian, a scientist, an animal welfare representative and a layperson. If the research application has not been reviewed and approved by an Animal Ethics Committee, the findings cannot be published in scientific journals," said Kotzé.

Ethical research

Health researchers in SA are bound by the health department's Policy Framework for Ethics Approval and Endorsement of Health Research document.

It obligates scientists to conduct ethical research, as well as registering of clinical trials.

"As far as regulation goes, all use of animals, whether for teaching or education, testing, research or other uses, must undergo a stringent review process by an animal ethics committee. Only after such approval, may work be conducted," Erika Bornman, Animal Ethics Unit manager at the NSPCA, told News24.

She said that there were difficulties in ensuring compliance with regulations, as the unit was understaffed.

READ: SPCA appeals for donations to save abused dog left in 5-year-old's care - GRAPHIC PICS

"The biggest challenge for us, as NSPCA Animal Ethics Unit, is having enough staff and resources to be more involved with institutions that use animals for scientific purposes, such as being able to conduct more inspections at animal research institutions."

The University of Stellenbosch's standard for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes document (SANS 10386) demands that scientists ensure that the welfare of animals is always considered and that they minimise pain and distress for animals.

"In the end, we as a society have a choice. Do we treat our fellow creatures with cruelty and insensitivity? Or with compassion, respect, and justice? As humans, we have the freedom to make that choice," said Kotzé.

Bornman argued that alternatives - such as models and simulators - could be used instead of animals.

"Basic models can contribute to the study of anatomy or facilitate the learning of good animal handling without animal stress and student anxiety."

Schools

Even schools can avoid the use of animals to teach life science lessons.

"Education is going paperless and we feel that there is no need for animals to be dissected, especially in a school classroom," said Bornman.

"There are very practical applications available that can be used for scholars, since most schools have access to iPads. We also developed our own plastic dissection rat model with removable organs that can easily replace the use of animals."

The Animal Ethics Unit represents animal welfare on 45 animal ethics committees in SA, said the NSPCA.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    nspca  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.