Tuesday , May 11 2021

Spotlight: Israeli activists demand a change in animal testing – Xinhua

would be Nick Koliohin

JERUSALEM, November 14 (Xinhua) – Israeli animal rights activists demand fundamental changes in the regulation of animal tests in Israel.

In recent years, according to activists, there has been an increase in the number of animals used for experiments by 50 authorized companies, universities and research centers.

"By 2016, the average number of casualties in laboratories was about 300,000 a year, and in 2016 this number rose to 517,000," said Oren Ben-Iosef, executive director of the Israeli Society for the Abolition of Vivienneys.

"In 2017, the number has doubled to more than a million victims," ​​Ben-Josef added. Activists worry about further growth.

Israel has a leading number of non-meat peasants around the world, with about 15 percent of the population vegetarians or vegans.

In Israel, any question involving the suffering of animals is controversial. There are ongoing protests across the country calling for the ending of animal suffering.

On the other hand, Israel is also a growing global center of state-of-the-art technology in life science. Some studies and experiments require animal tests.

The exact data on these experiments was a secret. Jacob Gopas, head of the National Animal Experimentation Agency (IACUC) in the Israeli Ministry of Health, said the secret was to protect patents, knowledge and researchers.

"It is concerned that animal rights activists will cross the line and harm scientists and researchers for their animal tests," Gopas said.

However, activists believed that there were other reasons for secrecy.

Over the years, Israeli animal rights activists have succeeded several times to secretly record animal experiments at the main Israeli universities.

The recordings were broadcast and published in the main Israeli media and shocked the public. After that, the animal test industry moved to act much more secret behind the well-closed doors.

Gopas heads the IACUC government agency that is responsible for regulating and managing the animal experiment in Israel.

Most IACUC members do not consider it difficult to perform animal tests. From their perspective, the key practice is to improve science, improve medicine and promote biomedical knowledge, said Gopas.

Nevertheless, Gopas considers that animal suffering is sometimes more important than the examination on them.

There was an experiment that required breaking the head of the animal without pain pains "to find ways to treat head trauma, and we did not approve it," Gopas said.

Moreover, Gopas opposes the use of the same animal for more than one test for ethical and moral reasons.

IACUC works to examine non-animal alternatives to each test and ways to reduce animal suffering.

It still needs to be done, says Andre Menache, a former IACUC employee.

The very idea of ​​whether animal tests are necessary for the advancement of science or medicine has not been discussed during IACUC meetings, says Menache.

Activists said that another major problem is that IACUC has a conflict of interest, as many researchers and animal experiments are doing.

"The dominant members of the IACUC alone carry out experiments on animals because they are researchers in their profession," said Anat Refua, a famous anti-animal experimenter.

"Other IACUC members are government officials who have no interest in the issue, and animal protection activists have only three sessions in the committee," Refua added.

The Israeli Ethics Science Association (AES) is trying to change from inside the way the system works legally.

The AES has addressed the Israeli court to order the state to disclose the names of board members who can approve animal experiments.

"Panel members approve experiments for institutions and companies they work in," said Gilad Heller, AES Legal Adviser.

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