The Current Status of Animal Use and Alternatives in Korean Veterinary Medical Schools
Gwi Hyang Lee, Byung In Choe, Jin Suk Kim, Lynette A. Hart and Jin Soo Han
Two new Korean laws regulating animal welfare and the humane use of animals in science came into effect in 2008 and 2009. Both these laws impose ethical committee review prior to the performance of animal experiments in research, testing and education. This study briefly summarises the new Korean laws, and investigates the current status regarding the numbers of animals used, the alternatives to animals which are used, the curricula relating to the humane use of animals, and ethical review practices in Korean veterinary education. Approximately 4,845 animals, representing 20 different species, were used in veterinary medical education in Korea in 2007. Korea has begun to introduce formal courses on animal welfare for the humane treatment of animals used in experiments, and an ethical protocol review system prior to animal use in education. Korea is moving toward better animal welfare, by incorporating practices consistent with international standards. The information presented represents the first such data gathered in Korea, which should prove useful for monitoring the implementation of replacement, reduction, and refinement measures in animal use for education purposes.