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Will Hong Kong ever have an ethical research system?
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  • Published on:
    Response to "Hong Kong does have an ethical research system"
    • Anthony E James, Veterinarian in private practice Retired Director of Hong Kong University of Science & Technology's Animal & Plant Care Facilities

    I welcome the response to my letter “Will Hong Kong ever have an ethical research system (VR, 4/11 January 2020, vol 186, p 33) by Cheng and Rowlands (Cheng, K., Rowlands, D. (2020) Hong Kong does have an ethical research system Veterinary Record 186, 128)
    However, their title is misleading for it implies that the high standards the University of Hong Kong (HKU) voluntarily adhere to in some way represent the standards and behaviours of the other universities of Hong Kong (HK). My 20 years of experience in HK tell me otherwise. As co-editor of HK’s Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Experimental Purposes (CoP), as a former chairperson of HK’s Animal Welfare Advisory Group and as HK’s first appointed Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care ad hoc consultant I have been fortunate (or possibly unfortunate) enough to observe the ethical review practices of six of HK’s tertiary institutions. During my most recent experiences in HK I have witnessed firsthand poor research practices that resulted in unnecessary suffering of animals and unsafe laboratory work practices that jeopardized the safety of animal care staff, yet these projects were approved by an ethical review committee that in no way complied with HK’s own CoP.
    Because of my 20 years of experience and the privileged position I have held within HK’s laboratory animal research sector I unreservedly disagree with Cheng and Rowlands’ assertion that my experie...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.