I refer to the anti-animal experiment protest at the Indian High Commission held by Peta and other local and foreign animal welfare organizations.
I have been following Peta and other animal activists and I must say that some of the rationale put forward for staging their protests with regards to animal welfare are sometimes exaggerated and dramatized to invoke human emotions and sentiments. At times it appears that they are trying to stifle scientific research and medical advancement.
There are hundreds of thousands of lab animals been used for experiments in colleges, universities and other research institutions in the world daily. Are we going to stop all these animal experiments too in the name of protecting the rights and welfare of these animals?
So far we have been listening to the views of animal welfare organizations only. What about our scientific community? Its time the Malaysian scientific community make their stand known on this issue. The Academy of Sciences of Malaysia should also state its stance now that we have international bodies getting actively involved.
The propaganda and influence of these animal welfare organizations may influence our local researchers and scientists approach to applied science in the future. The possibility of young scientists distancing themselves from research involving animal experiments in the future due to these influences are real. It may have serious implications to the development of science and technology in the country.
It must be reiterated that I am all for the prevention of animal abuse and cruelty in the country. However, the issue should not be stretched to a point, that it turns out to be an obstacle of sorts to the development of good science in the country.
I subscribe to the notion that with proper monitoring mechanism and updated legal instruments and regulations, animal experiments for drug testing should be allowed to proceed. Until we find a suitable medium for testing of drugs for human use, the use of animal models is unavoidable.
Peta, SPCA, SAM and other related NGOs should first work towards getting our outdated 1953 Animal Ordinance and other related laws amended or updated to meet the modern-day challengers with regards to animal welfare and experiments
Please stop trying to paint a devilish picture of the scientific community involved in drug testing experiments who are actually working towards finding a cure for the betterment of human health.
It must be pointed out that animal testing in many ways also helps to elicit scientific data which is used to develop drugs and cures for many companion animal diseases too.