A proposed program to use live animals, including 14 beagle puppies, in rabies experiments was given the green light on Wednesday by experts at a meeting held by the Council of Agriculture’s Animal Health Research Institute.
The program is part of a rabies vaccine research initiative and is to use 220 specific pathogen-free mice (instead of the 210 reported previously), 36 healthy ferret-badgers and 14 beagles ranging from six to 12 months old.
The program has concerned animal protection activists, including Chu Tseng-hung (朱增宏), chief executive officer of the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan, who said that the council should not proceed with the plan.
Chu was among nine people who attended the review meeting, which was chaired by Animal Health Research Institute director-general Tsai Hsiang-jung (蔡向榮).
There was no vote on the issue, because the program won the consent of all of the animal-testing experts at the meeting, Chu said.
Other participants at the meeting included four institute officials, former National Laboratory Animal Center director Simon Liang (梁善居) and representatives from the Animal Protection Association and the Chinese Taipei Society of Laboratory Animal Sciences.
In a bid to prevent the program from being carried out, Chu said he was to file a motion at a planned meeting of the council’s animal protection consultants yesterday.
He said the authorities should follow the example of advanced foreign countries.
This could include inviting more experts in various fields to review any proposals to use pets, including dogs and cats, or primates in animal testing, Chu, who was formerly a Buddhist monk, added.
If the motion is adopted, the program would have to be assessed once more — this time at a bigger meeting of experts, Chu said.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
A DEPRIVATION? The Taiwan Higher Education Union said the program, which drew much student criticism, undermined students' right to an education The Taiwan Higher Education Union on Monday accused Ming Chuan University (MCU) of sacrificing its students’ right to education by altering the English-language instruction for first-year students. The university, which has long emphasized the value that it places on English-language education, in the 2019-2020 academic year changed its English program for first-year students to a combination of self-learning through online videos and weekly lab sessions, during which students would take online tests, the union said. The change has deprived more than 3,000 students of in-person instruction and of interaction with their teachers, the union added. The online program drew much criticism from students