Are you aware that the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have released a draft proposal for public consultation which guides the use of Australian native mammals in biomedical research? The document is titled ‘A Guide to the use of Australian Native Mammals in Biomedical Research' and the research would include biochemical testing on animals such as koalas, bandicoots, wombats, echidnas, and kangaroos.
The document offers guidelines for the testing which, they argue, could assist with the conservation and management of individual species. However, they also state that it offers potential further understanding of diseases and disorders in humans. The NHMRC go on to say in their ‘synopsis' that one of the aims is to “promote the use of that knowledge for welfare, conservation or preservation of the species, and for human benefit.”
The NHMRC proposal outlines risks which may result from such research, such as high mortality subsequent to release of some species, and the risks of possibly introducing pathogens or parasites into the population.
The NHMRC is inviting submissions concerning the revised draft guidelines and these should be received by 5pm on Friday 25 May 2012. A public submission can be made online by visiting http://consultations.nhmrc.gov.au/open_public_consultations/native-mammals. Alternatively, a submission can be made by email or mail, but must be accompanied by the offline submission form on the NHMRC website to be considered.
Project Officer – Australian Native Mammals Guideline Revision
Health and Research Ethics Section
Research Translation Group
NHMRC GPS Box 1421
CANBERRA ACT 2601
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