China to adopt national standard on lab animal welfare

Beijing: China is set to adopt its first national standard on laboratory animal welfare and ethics by the end of this year, the media reported on Friday. The draft, which is available for public opinion until Sunday, is expected to greatly improve the welfare of laboratory animals in China, according to Sun Deming, chairman of the Welfare and Ethics Committee of the Chinese Association for Laboratory Animal Sciences. "Although all users of laboratory animals are required to conduct welfare and ethics reviews, they adopt different standards, and some are too lax," the China Daily quoted Sun as saying. The draft includes requirements for the production, transportation and use of laboratory animals, including qualifications for personnel, animal-raising facilities and the use of animals in testing. Qin Chuan, the association's president, said the lack of legislation has become a roadblock for the development of China's multi-billion biological and pharmaceutical industries and other industries related to the use of laboratory animals. The new standard, which aims to minimise the use of animals and also their pain, integrates the latest concepts and requirements for the ethical treatment of lab animals, Sun said. It has been recognised by leading experts at home and abroad, Sun said during the two-day Sino-British Third International Seminar on Laboratory Animal Welfare and Ethics. The conference in Hefei, Anhui province, which was co-hosted by the association and the British government, ended on Thursday.