The Government of Mauritius has decided to allow animal testing and experimentation in Mauritius.
In a very near future, we will start seeing testing laboratories on our island; these torture-laboratories will be testing their drugs, chemicals and cosmetics on animals.
Animals can mean mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds. The list can be non-exhaustive but no details were given regarding that.
When a sentient being who is conscious, can feel and who understands the world is ‘used’ against its will, the normal response is distress. How on earth can someone prevent a monkey (bred in a cage, snatched from its freedom and separated from its family) to not become distressed when held against its will in a strange place, surrounded by strange people undergoing all kind of tests and experiments on its body. Painful or not, being distress is the only way the animal will respond.
PAIN AND SUFFERING?
European and American countries have very strict regulations regarding animal welfare and the use of animals for testing and experimentations. Animal welfare groups are very powerful there and their opinions and campaigns affect the whole industry. Despite this, the animals used for testing go through agonizing pain and suffering. Some live a life being drugged and confined within small enclosures all their life. Most of the animals never see the sun, never get to walk freely or feel the warmth of the sun on their skins or the softness of grass underneath their feet. All they ever get to know is the cold steel cages they live in, the feeling of stiff tubes being inserted down their throats and into their bodies, painful jabs and an unbearable loneliness.
All of them are killed when the ‘project’ comes to an end.
With these strict regulations and the pressure from welfare organizations , laboratories and the pharmaceutical industry try their level best to hide the reality of animals in laboratories from the public.
Just think about it, animal welfare laws in Mauritius are non-existent and the few insignificant ones that exist are not enforced. The legal authorities and the police are not acquainted with the legislations and compassion… AH an ALIEN world that still needs to be discovered.
Animal rights/welfare groups in Mauritius are not listened to, They are totally ignored by the Government. Those responsible to enforced the animal welfare act are not even acquainted to the act.
Without any authorities to ensure that the Government of Mauritius is keeping its word, the fact that we know that their only motivation is profit-making; the future of animal experimentations in Mauritius is very bright for the investors and very bleak for the animals.
I quote the Latin phrase from the Roman poet, Juvenal : Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? ;
‘WHO WILL GUARD THE GUARD THEMSELVES?’
Without any proper institutions to ensure ‘proper’ practices, I foresee a catastrophe of abuse. The animal welfare unit of the Ministry of Agro-industry is just another joke of this Government. How will they face a multinational powerful Pharmaceutical industry with high technologies when they cannot even reprimand someone who abandoned his dog?
WHY MAURITIUS AND WHY NOW?
With the rise of animal right movements around the world, backed up with the progress of science; animal testing as advancement for human health has been discredited.
Science has proven that being physiologically different from humans, animals were the wrong medium to test and investigate ailments of human beings. It has been found that 95% of all drugs tested on animals are rejected when tested on humans.
More and more airline companies are refusing to transport live animals used for experimentations. To this day, only 2 airlines, AirFrance and ABX are still transporting animals for research. Hundreds of companies have stopped this practice because they realised that they involvement was condemning thousands of animals to a life of misery and suffering.
Since it is getting more and more difficult to get the animals shipped and aired to them, the normal step would be to implement the laboratories right next to the breeding farms, that is in Mauritius which has a flourishing business of monkey breeding.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST?
Mr. Mahen Seeruthun, Minister of Agro-industry and Food security worked as the Finance Manager at Noveprim group before being nominated as Minister. Noveprim group is one of the largest companies that breed and export Monkeys for research purposes.
Coincidence you think? That the Finance Manager of a Monkey breeding-farm encourages the Government to get onto animal testing and to use the same monkeys from his farm…
The business is already bringing in million of rupees to these companies and to the Government because every monkey exported is taxed.
is there any personal interest? Any conflict of interest?
Knowing the credibility and history of our leaders… I am giving you some food for thoughts here.
ANIMAL WELFARE ACT?
The Animal welfare Act (AWA) is here just for name-sake because nothing is being implemented and there is no ‘qualified’ and ‘competent’ authorities to understand the real meaning of animal welfare, forget about implementing it. So far we have seen that laws are amended overnight when they no longer suit the Government. The clauses of the AWA have been written with good intentions but without any vision and today we face the consequences of department that seems to fall under no authority, without any clear line of actions and responsibilities.
No, I am not against medical progress and science advancement! I am against the cruelty! Cruelty-free and humane science is possible.
If you are among the rare Mauritian who still question and care, just go through these links to learn about the alternatives of animal testing. It is possible to make science more humane and still not hinder medical and research progress.
Alternatives for animal testing:
If you would like to read more, here are some useful links:
International norms and guidelines:
UK: http://scienceandresearch.homeoffice.gov.uk/animal-research/legislation/, www.grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw
USA: www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/labrats/, http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf