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Revised draft A Guide to the Use of Australian Native Mammals in Biomedical Sciences submission

B. Please provide contact details

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E. Specific comments
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F. General comments

It is very important that people who interact with native wildlife understand the particular species very well, including their ability to cope with stress. It is also critical that people understand that native animals have different needs to other animals, particularly in relation to stress, pain management etc.

While it is important to have clear guidelines in place, I would argue that much of the work being done with native mammals is totally unnecessary and should be stopped. There are many other alternatives now for replacing live animals from scientific research and activities. These alternatives should be explored and investment be made in alternatives, rather than relying on wildlife to answer questions that have either already been answered or can be answered more clearly using other methods. In terms of education, there are many students who feel very uncomfortable using live animals in experiments and would prefer other alternatives, yet they are pressured not to speak up. So much research on different species when relating to human-use products is meaningless as the species-divide prevents reliable comparisons.

I would urge the committee to highlight the need for scientists to explore the alternatives to using animals, rather than merely trying to limit the harm on animals through unnecessary experiments.

Page reviewed: 24 April, 2014