(photo credit: courtesy)
Knesset Interior Committee Chairman MK Amnon Cohen assured Weizmann Institute of
Science heads on Monday he would not allow a bill on wild animal protection to
halt medical research.
Cohen visited the Rehovot campus and met with its
deputy president, Haim Garty, and a number of leading
Speaking on behalf of the Inter-University Forum for
Promoting Science, they expressed concern that the Environmental Protection
Ministry’s bill to amend the Animal Protection Law would prevent them from
conducting necessary experiments on animals.
The Weizmann scientists said
the bill would prohibit the import of wild animals for medical experimentation
if the research institution lacked special approval that would introduce a lot
of red tape and take even several years for approval.
asked Cohen to make animals for medical experimentation an exception in the
When Cohen asked them what they do to prevent animals’ suffering
during medical experimentation, he said he was “impressed” to hear that monkeys
are sent afterwards for “rehabilitation” in Ben-Shemen.
unnecessary suffering to animals is a rule in Judaism, everything must be done
to find a proper balance between the continued advancement of medical research
and reducing the suffering of animals, including the prevention of painful and
unnecessary animal experiments, said the Shas MK.
“The description I
heard, in which it takes two years to receive authorization to import a wild
animal necessary for vital research, is not acceptable, and regulation must be
reduced in this matter. But I agree with the spirit of the law and the intention
to prevent unnecessary animal killing and suffering,” said the committee
“I am sure that my committee will find the middle way to allow
us to behave as a moral and humane society regarding animals without causing
serious harm to Israeli scientific research.”