SEOUL—Animal protection organization Humane Society International/Korea (HSI/Korea), cosmetics brand Lush Korea and civic group People for Non-human Rights (PNR) have teamed up for laboratory animals by launching a petition to support the Act on the Promotion of Development, Dissemination and Use of Alternatives to Animal Testing Methods (PAAM Act).
According to a report on animal testing statistics published by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, the number of animals used for testing in South Korea was 4,141,433 in 2020. This figure is a 43.8% increase compared to five years ago, when 2,878,907 animals were subjected to testing in 2016. While animal testing is increasing, there is an effort to replace animal testing and introduce scientifically sound alternatives. In Europe and the United States, pharmaceutical companies are already starting to use organoids and organ-on-a-chip models. These technologies can emulate human physiology and are used to test substances instead of animal experiments.
The PAAM Act petition campaign aims to raise public awareness about the importance of promoting alternatives to animal testing both to reduce cruelty to animals and to improve human health. Citizens will be encouraged to participate in signing the petition that urges central government and lawmakers to pass the bill.
PAAM Act was introduced to the National Assembly in December 2020 and is sponsored by assembly member In-soon Nam. The bill is focused on supporting development of new methods that can mimic human biology or using computer-based approaches while moving away from relying on animal models. It also provides a legal ground for collaboration among central authorities to disseminate these developed methods through harmonized planning.
Along with the launch of the petition page, a mini webinar titled ‘Let’s learn about animal testing and alternatives’ will be released through Lush Korea’s YouTube channel in September. The webinar will feature HSI/Korea, Lush Korea, PNR and Jae-Sung Kwon, an assistant professor at the College of Dentistry at Younsei University. The panelists will discuss the status of animal testing, developing replacement approaches and why the PAAM Act is important.
Borami Seo, interim executive director and senior policy manager for HSI/Korea, said: “The PAAM Act took three years of preparation including consulting with relevant institutions and experts. The bill is important in that it stipulates unprecedented, but much needed, initiatives to bring central governments together to put Korea on track for the progress in health research based on more effective, science sounding approaches than animal testing.”
Won Jung Park, ethics director for Lush Korea said: “Considering an increasing interest in ethical consumerism in the 4th industrial revolution era where modern technologies are emerging, PAAM Act is what we need now. Lush Korea has long been supporting work around animal testing replacement. I hope that this PAAM Act petition campaign will contribute to speedy passage of the bill and bring an end to cruel and unnecessary animal testing.”
Anyone can show their support for the PAAM Act petition campaign by visiting Lush Korea stores or lush.co.kr/animalfreetesting.
Media Contact: Borami Seo: firstname.lastname@example.org