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Alternatives to Animal Testing are Proposed

The National Council for Experimentation on Animal Subjects is slated to decide today whether to continue to allow the use of animals in experiments for educational purposes. While in Europe and the U.S. the use of animals in instructional experiments has declined significantly in recent years, in Israel thousands of animals are operated on and put to death every year as part of medical and life sciences studies.

The experiments are carried out largely in order to illustrate principles that are already known.
Opponents argue that there is no longer any need to use animal experimentation in the teaching process. "In light of the advanced illustrative means existing today, there is no justification for conducting experiments on animals" for educational purposes, says attorney Ehud Peleg, legal adviser to Noach, the umbrella organization of animal rights groups in Israel and the organization's representative to the council.

This position has the backing of several experts, including Israeli scientists, some of them members of the council. The council itself, however, refuses to rule that there are reasonable alternatives to all such experiments, which would force all institutions of higher education in the country to switch to these alternatives.

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