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Australian Animal Testing Under the Microscope

The national guidelines for scientific experiments involving animals in Australia are being reviewed.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) wants to make changes to the code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.The code provides an ethical framework and principles for researchers on how animals may be used, and their treatment and care. It was last reviewed in 2004, but recently there have been international breakthroughs in areas such as animal-to-human transplants, known as xenotransplantation. This involves operations to put living animal tissue and cells into humans to cure disease. Professor Bob Williamson from the Academy of Science welcomes the review. "So that things move more quickly when we are testing new drugs for human health or animal health, but at the same time to try to make certain that the animals are looked after in the best possible way," he said.

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