SEOUL, Jun. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — Following the controversy surrounding ‘May,’ a retired detection dog found to be used in animal experiments at Seoul National University, the South Korean government has introduced a policy listing harsher restrictions on conducting experiments on working animals.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced on Wednesday that it will allow experiments on working animals only when it is deemed ‘inevitable,’ such as when a working animal is absolutely required for certain method of training.
The ministry plans to amend enforcement regulations for relevant animal protection laws to enforce the policy.
The ministry also plans to increase applicable fines imposed for illegal experimentation, which currently stand at less than 3 million won (US$2,540).
The supervising role of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee will also be strengthened to require review when there are critical changes in the content of an experiment, and order a shutdown if the experiment differs from what has been approved.
Management plans for detection dogs will also be revised to establish a long-term plan for supplying detection dogs not only through cloning, but also through purchasing breeding dogs and expanding reproduction.
There are currently 61 detection dogs at the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, 10 of which have retired to the detection dog center. Detection dogs normally retire at the age of 8 or 9.
“We will provide veterinarians to exclusively treat detection dogs, and constantly check whether detection agents abide by the rules to help bolster the welfare of detection dogs currently on duty,” said the ministry.
“Aged dogs will be sent for review and put up for adoption regularly. Their management will continue to be tracked by the ministry.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)