SEOUL, Jun. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — As many as 3.72 million animals were used in animal tests conducted in South Korea last year, and nearly half of the implementation agents were state-run organizations.
According to a survey by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (QIA) on Wednesday, 385 Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees were set up across the country last year, accounting for 41 percent of the total testing companies.
There were 362 organizations that actually conducted animal tests, and an average of more than 10,000 animals were used in the experiments.
The figure represents a 20.9 percent increase from the previous year, with the number of state agencies jumping by 47 percent.
Rodents such as mice and rats were most used in the experiments, accounting for 84.1 percent of the total.
An animal test plan, which must be submitted before testing on animals, must list a “pain rating” according to the type of animal, how they are to be used, and how they are tested.
The pain rating is divided into five stages, from Group A, which does not require committee approval, to Group D, which means “pain beyond severity,” and Group E, which means “extreme pain, oppression or unavoidable stress.”
According to the survey, 36.4 percent of the animal testing was categorized into group E, while 35.5 percent was group D. Such results means that more than 7 out of 10 tests caused more than a severe degree of pain to animals.
QIA reported that “The findings will be used to improve ethical standards and set policy direction for future animal testing.”
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)