Research on animals and Plants

Chapter Twelve: Use of Animals and Plants in Experiments

Article 38
1. Animals may be used for research employing all experimental or scientific means not causing unusual pain to the animals.
2. Use of animals shall be restricted to research whose objectives cannot be realized without such use. 
3. Endangered animal species may not be subject to negative use.
The Regulations shall specify ethical conditions and procedures for use of animals in research.

Article (38.1)
Animals may be used in scientific experiments where research objectives cannot be otherwise realized.

Article (38.2)
When conducting research on animals, the investigator shall comply with the following:
1- Shari'a provisions related to humane treatment of animals;
2- Scientific principles and conventions governing experimental practices on animals;
3- Obtaining a license from the local committee to conduct research on animals;
4- Obtaining approval from the local committee to commence the research;
5- Using the minimum number of animals required to achieve research objectives and minimizing harm to and suffering of animals;
6- Observing that the expected results and desired benefits from the research outweigh any risks and harms to the animal subject of the research or the environment in general;
7- Practice shall be subject to appropriate and acceptable scientific and experimental principles.

Article (38.3)
To obtain approval to conduct research on animals, any of the following shall be satisfied:
1- To Prevent, diagnose or treat a disease or a deformity that must be rectified or whose effects must be removed;
2- To explore animal physiology;
3- Protection of the natural environment as well as general health of humans or animals;
4- Achievement of scientific advancement in biological sciences;
5- Contribution to forensic research;
6- Improvement of animal breeding methods and management;
7- Conduct preliminary research on pharmaceutical substances, toxins and radioactive effects.

Article (38.4)
The research protocol shall take all measures necessary to prevent animal suffering, using the minimum number of research animals which have a low level of neurological or physiological sensation.

Article (38.5)
Artificial hybridization may not be conducted except between animals of the same species, even if breeds are different, provided that the expected benefit outweighs the risks and that such risks can be prevented or controlled.

Article (38.6)
Animals may not be cloned unless medically proven safe as per a medical report approved by at least two specialists.

Article (38.7)
Transplant of animal fetuses shall be subject to the same conditions governing the process of artificial insemination set forth in Article (38.5).

Article (38.8)
Banks for preserving animal sperms or eggs for production or research purposes may be established, without prejudice to rules of artificial insemination.

Article (38.9)
Research and experiments causing pain to animals may not be conducted unless the following two conditions are satisfied:
1- The investigator shall be well versed in physiology, and the research or experiment is useful to humans or animal species and shall seek to preserve and protect them or put an end to their pain and suffering;
2- The investigator shall obtain local committee approval.

Article (38.10)
Pain-causing research and experiments on animals must be conducted under anesthesia unless this undermines research objectives, at the discretion of the investigator.

Article (38.11)
In all cases, upon completion, the animal subject of research shall be disposed of while under anesthesia, in accordance with the provisions of Shari'a.

Article (38.12)
Animals earmarked for experimentation shall be disposed of if they contract an infectious disease other than the one under study. However, if it is possible to treat such animals, this shall be carried out in isolated places, and all procedures of epidemic quarantine shall be enforced under the supervision of the veterinarian in charge. The disease and the measures taken for its control or treatment shall be reported to the competent authorities.

Article (38.13)
1- No research or experiment may be conducted on animals for the purpose of acquiring skills or practical training without using anesthetics except in cases where the animal is not subject to severe pain or torture;
2- Research and experiments may be conducted on animals for the purpose of demonstration and explanation to students, provided it is undertaken by a qualified person and the said research or experiment is necessary to explain theoretical information and furnish students with useful scientific knowledge.

Article (38.14)
Endangered animal species may not be used in research or experiments unless said research or experiments are required for breeding or preservation of species. The approval of the Monitoring Office shall be obtained before conducting the research.

Article (38.15)
Painful or harmful methods may not be used in hunting wild animals for the purpose of research.

Article (38.16)
Captured animals shall be subject to quarantine in their natural habitat before being moved to the research unit wherein they are to be quarantined once again before conducting the research. The National Committee shall set conditions for the quarantine and its duration.

Article (38.17)
Wild animals may not be used in scientific research except in the following cases:
1- If it is impossible to achieve study objectives by using other alternatives;
2- Increase the number of animals subject of the research and protect them from extinction without affecting their genetic nature;
3- Detect whether the animal subject carries any zoonotic or epidemic diseases or immunize said animal to prevent spread of such diseases.

Article (38.18)
Upon completion of the research and ascertaining the well-being of the research animal, it shall be released and returned to its original habitat, whenever possible.

Article (38.19)
1- Wild animals foreign to the Kingdom's wildlife may not be introduced thereto for the purposes of research;
2- Wild animals may not be returned to their habitat after being genetically modified;
3- No research may be conducted to increase the population of certain species of wild animals at the expense of other species unless said species is in danger of extinction.

Article (38.20)
For capturing wild animals for the purposes of research, a permit from the National Committee indicating validity period and type of animal shall be obtained, without prejudice to the hunting laws in the Kingdom.

Article (38.21)
Animals or products thereof exposed to chemical, biological or genetic substances for the purposes of research may not be consumed, sold or given away. Said animals as well as wastes and products thereof shall be disposed of through established scientific practices under veterinary supervision.

Article (38.22)
The institution licensed to conduct research on animals shall have facilities for the care of experimental animals, comprising the following:
1- Enclosures for the care of experimental animals appropriately equipped for animal living conditions;
2- A person qualified to monitor animal safety and health and care for animals prior to commencement of research;
3- Fully equipped laboratories appropriate for conducting experiments and reaching sound scientific results.

Article (38.23)
The institution licensed to conduct research on animals shall submit an annual report to the Monitoring Office, including: activities, experiments conducted, numbers, types and sources of animals used, results of each experiment, and destruction procedures, pursuant to forms prepared for this purpose.

Article (38.24)
Persons licensed to conduct experiments on animals as well as institutions, places and experiments shall be monitored by the Monitoring Office.

Article (38.25)
The National Committee shall set up rules and controls governing use of animals in research experiments in matters not provided for in these Regulations.

Article 39
Plants may not be used in research that upsets environmental balance and distribution of vegetation. Endangered plant species may not be subject to negative use. The Regulations shall specify ethical terms and procedures of research on plants.

Article (39.1)
No research may be conducted on endangered plants unless it is necessary for reproduction or preservation of plants. The approval of the Monitoring Office shall be obtained prior to conducting the research.

Article (39.2)
Persons licensed to conduct experiments on plants as well as institutions, places and experiments shall be subject to auditing by the Monitoring Office, without prejudice to laws pertaining to food, drugs, and agriculture as well as Wildlife Reserves Law and the Law of Fishing, Investment and Protection of Marine Life  in Territorial Waters and all relevant laws and regulations in the Kingdom

Article (39.3)
Penalties set forth in the Law and Regulations shall be imposed on any person violating controls and provisions therein according to the jurisdiction of the National Committee.

Article 40
If research includes conducting genetic modification experiments on Living Creatures, the investigator shall take all necessary measures to prevent their escape from research laboratories.

Article (40.1)
Genetic modification research on animals and plants shall be conducted in laboratories designated for this purpose, provided all measures are taken to prevent escape of genetically modified creatures.

Article (40.2)
Microorganisms subject to the research and their outcome shall be disposed of through standard scientific procedures.

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