SEOUL, Apr. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — Seoul National University (SNU) has launched an investigation into veterinary professor Lee Byeong-chun, who has been accused of abusing a working dog, which is mobilized for quarantines and other work, in the course of testing.
It was announced on Tuesday that the Special Committee on Animal Testing Ethics is investigating suspicions raised about Lee, adding that it would investigate the facts and review whether he violated ethical codes.
Apart from the Special Committee, SNU’s veterinary college, which Lee belongs to, is also looking into allegations raised against him at the college level.
The Beagle Rescue Network (BRN), an animal protection group, earlier claimed that Lee’s team tested and abused a retired quarantine detection dog in violation of the animal protection law.
The BRN posted on its official Facebook account that Lee’s research team took “Mei,” a beagle cloned dog that had served as a quarantine detection dog for five years at Incheon International Airport, for an “experiment”, adding that Mei returned to the quarantine headquarters eight months later suffering from severe malnutrition.
The network claims that based on the animal protection law, animals that have worked for people or the country are banned from testing, but the professor conducted brutal animal tests on a retired dog under the pretext of developing ‘smart detection dogs.’
The professor is suspected not only of conducting illegal tests on a private animal, but also committing acts of abuse by making the animal moribund.
The network plans to file a complaint with the prosecution on April 22 on charges of violating the animal protection law.
Professor Lee Byeong-chun, who succeeded in cloning dogs for the first time in the world along with scientist Hwang Woo-suk, is one of the world’s leading scholars in dog cloning.
However, he has also been criticized by several animal rights groups for violating research ethics by using dogs bred for human consumption in testing, and also abusing experimental animals.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)