SEOUL, Sept. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – Animal rights groups saw their lawsuit demanding that Seoul National University Hospital publicly disclose its records on in-house animal testing approved by the Seoul 11th Administrative Court on August 28.
Prior to the suit, the hospital had rebuffed such demands by expressing that it was “not unconcerned that [the released information] will be used for animal rights groups’ radical opposition and aggressively expressive behavior [against animal testing].”
On the grounds that industry secrets need to be protected, some of the documents the hospital refused to release are guidelines or manuals for animal testing procedures, experiment reports, internal inspection documents and more.
After the administrative court’s decision, the hospital was believed to have deliberated over possibly filing an appeal, but it stated on September 5 that it would accept the ruling.
In the afterglow of their victory, the animal rights groups professed their hope that the court decision would be the turning point in ensuring that strict guidelines would be maintained throughout animal testing procedures going forward.
The court explained its decision by stating, “Public disclosure may draw criticism suggesting less painful experimental methods and assisted-killing of animals, but it does not appear to be the case that such occurrences will impede animal testing. On the contrary, such criticisms must be encouraged to improve animal welfare.”
The lawsuit was first filed last year, after Voice4animals president Park Chang Gil’s request for the release of animal testing related documents by Seoul National University Hospital to the Central Administrative Appeals Commission was denied.
Defense lawyer Seo Guk Hwa pointed out that the court’s decision was “the first court order ever issued that requires files on animal testing to be made public” and “the decision means that such files are not considered to be management secrets”.