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Prepared by: Mohd. Ikram Bin Jabilin
For personal use only, not been reviewed

 
INTRODUCTION

According to the definitions given by biology-online.org, animal testing can be define as the use of animals in experiments and development projects usually to determine toxicity, dosing, and efficacy of test drugs before proceeding to human clinical trials.[1] There is also other terms that has been used to refer the animal testing such as animal experimentation, animal research, in vivo testing, and vivisections.[2]

Over the year, this method has been a controversy between the group that oppose and advocate. Each of the group gives their own opinion to support their argument. In the side of the oppose, some of their argument is the animal is inferior to humans thus the result can’t be applied to human being. Some of them also state that the during the procedure, animal will feel pain and it will affected the result of the experiment. In the aspect of ethical basis, the oppose side state that to get the benefit to human is not justify the harm to the animal.

In the other side, the group of advocate also have their own argument. A scientist, René Descartes comes with opinion that the animal did not feel pain during the vivisection process.[3] Some of the researchers said that the experiment to the animal is important in advancement of medical dan biological knowledge. In the aspect of medicine, it is important to test the product such as drug to the animal before the drug can be used to the human being.

The debate between the two group still continue until nowadays. Whenever the is an issue, for example building a new laboratory, there will be a controversy from both parties. This phenomenon also occur in Malaysia which will be discuss letter in this review.

MALAYSIA ON ANIMAL-TESTING LABORATORY

The use of animals for research was found as early as 2nd and 4th centuries BCE.[2] In Malaysia, this practice was still in lantern state and there is not much issue that arise. Even though, in early 2010, there is a suggestion to build an animal-testing laboratory in Malacca. The project is a collaboration between local and foreign company that is the Melaka Biotech Holdings Sdn Bhd and the Indian Biotechnology firm, Vivo Biotech Limited.[4]

As been expected, the suggestion has been opposed by the anti-vivisectionist for example by the NGO’s, The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and also a personality such as Miss Malaysia/World 2009/2012, Thanuja Ananthan and Senator from DAP, Dr. S. Ramakrishan.[5]

While there is an opposition toward this issue, on July 14, 2010, the Director General of Health Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Hj. Mohd. Ismail Merican has come out with the press release on this issues. Generally, he didn’t reject the suggestion because animal experimentation is a must and a part of requirement for the drug producers to test their product to the animal first before can be used to the human. Besides that, he also agree that the animal studies can contribute a lot in the medicine advancement. Although, the permission to make a particular test to the animal will be controlled by a strict regulation according to the Good Laboratory Practice (GLP).

AN ANIMAL TESTING LABORATORY CENTRE

When debating about the practice of the science, they will have the pro and the cons. It is a common phenomenon, where there is a science, there will be the benefit and in the same time there are some consequences that must be faced. There is lot of example. The use of petroleum and the release of the gasses to the atmosphere, the use of the nuclear power and the effect of the radiation and many more. Realizing that, scientist always try to find a better ways to apply the science so that human can get benefit and also reduce the side effect whether to the human, to other animals, and the environment.

In the aspect of building a laboratory centre for animal testing, the idea is actually a good idea in term of regulation. By having a centre for animal testing laboratory, the surveillance can be made more affectively by the authority to ensure that the scientists follow the Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). Having a particular centre also can control the forbidden laboratory for animal testing. An email from one of the anti-vivisectionist activist from Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) reported to the authority about the existent of forbidden animal testing laboratory in Penang.[6]

CHALLENGE FOR THE OPPOSITION

By referring to the history of the animal experimentation development, we can’t deny the contribution that has been given to the knowledge development by practicing the animal experimentation. From the Aristotle era to genetic modification era, an animal experimentation has been continue to be practice so that it can gives benefit to the human being especially in the agriculture, biotechnology, and medical sector.

The fact is there and it can’t be deny although there are some argument that the result of success in founding the cure for disease is not from the animal testing but more to the clinical research, observation of patients and human autopsy.[7]

Animal testing still continue to be a best method in testing product to be used to human. In fact, in university itself, the practice of animal experimentation was applied in the syllabus. For example, the writer use cervical dislocation to the mice to get the sperm sample for examination in the biology laboratory practice. This shows the contribution of the animal experimentation to the knowledge development of the student.

For the opposition, there must try to suggest and comes out with alternative to replace the current practicing. No doubt that there is a lot of suggestion that have been proposed but is it practice enough? Why with all those suggestion, scientists still prefer to use animal experimentation and the law towards this issue is still there and was implement? This show that, the suggestion is only a suggestion and not effective to practical enough to be practice.

CONCLUSION

The debate toward this issue will continue until the alternative of the animal testing can be practice. For Malaysia on the animal testing laboratory centre, there is some report that said that Malaysia government will continue this project as there is no evident that the animals will be exposed to the torturing[8] maybe because their confident with the surveillance that will be operated to the laboratory.

For the writer by having a center for the animal testing laboratory, it can gives some advantages to the authority in the term of surveillance where their will able to control the laboratory activity more effectively. Thus, indirectly can increase the public trust to the activity that was done by the scientist to the animal.

As the contribution of the animal testing practicing can’t be rejected, the opposition must comes out with the practical alternative to replace the current practice. Unable to do that, will continue to make animal experimentation as the first choices to the scientist and product producer to test their invasion.

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REFERENCES

[1] Animal testing. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Animal_testing

[2] Animal testing. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_testing

[3] Vivisection. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/631461/vivisection

[4] Malaysia animal-testing lab idea to be discussed. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malacca-animal-testing-lab-idea-to-be-discussed/

[5] Protest against animal testing lab in Malaysia. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://news.malaysia.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4139865

[6] Animal testing lab in Penang shrouded in secrecy. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2011/05/13/animal-testing-lab-in-penang-shrouded-in-secrecy/

[7] Anderegg, C., Bailey, J., Cohen, M.J., Kaufman, S. R., Pippin, J.J. (2006). A critical look at animal experimentation.

[8] Malaysia okays controversial British animal testing lab. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20100624-223794.html
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