experts are working on a revision to a national regulation on the
management of laboratory animals, which, if adopted, is expected to
greatly improve the management and protection of the animals.
A draft of the new rules includes changes to the Regulation on the
Management of Laboratory Animals, which was adopted in 1988, according
to Sun Deming, chairman of the Welfare and Ethics Committee of the
Chinese Association for Laboratory AnimalSciences, also known as CALAS,
who is helping to formulate the new rules.
However, a number of areas of dispute still exist, according to Sun, who
declined to provide further details such as when the new regulations,
being overseen by the Ministry of Science and Technology, will come into
The Regulation on the Management of Laboratory Animals, a major
guideline on themanagement of animals used in scientific testing, has
been revised several times since it was enacted. It is primarily
intended to ensure that animals used in laboratory experiments are of
sufficiently high quality, in terms of health, to meet the demands of
The regulation also includes a number of articles related to the
animals’ welfare, such as stipulations that the scientists conducting
the experiments must "take good care of theanimals and do not provoke or
Other guidelines have also been introduced since 1988, including many
related to thewelfare of laboratory animals, such as conducting
experiments on euthanized animals tominimize pain, providing the results
of the experiments will not be affected.
In June 2014, the China Food and Drug Administration issued guidelines
to allow domestic producers to market commonly used cosmetics, such as
shampoos and perfumes, without the need for animal testing.
However, China still lags behind many countries in legislation to
promote the welfare of laboratory animals, according to Yue Bingfei,
director of the experimental animals division at the National Institutes
for Food and Drug Control.
Although China has made great progress in the management of laboratory
animals in recent years, a lack of laws and regulations has been a major
obstacle to the prevention of violations, and has also reduced Chinese
scientists’ opportunities for international exchanges, Yue said.
About 20 million animals, mainly mice, are used in tests in China every
year, he added.
The ministry said other animals, including rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs
and monkeys, are also used.
According to Sun, from CALAS, the rapid development of biomedicine has
resulted inlarge numbers of animals being used in a wide range of
experiments, and their welfare is attracting increased attention from
the public and animal rights groups.
"China should accelerate improvements to the legislation and management
systems toregulate and maintain the interests of researchers and
laboratory animals, and promotethe sustainable development of animal
welfare," he said.