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A news report states that the build up to stop the proposed RM500 million animal testing facility in Alor Gajah, Malacca has gained momentum, with close to 6,000 people from at least 25 countries having signed an online petition in protest.

The petition is sponsored by SPCA Selangor, Friends of the Earth Malaysia, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE). The petition demands that the government “act in all expediency to quash this proposal”.

The petition also claims that the half-billion ringgit project should be scrapped “for ethical reasons and for the lack of scientific validity in extrapolating data obtained from animal testing to humans”.

According to the news report, mnce 10,000 signatures have been collected, the petition will be sent to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam.

Protests started in late April after it was made known that state-owned Melaka Biotech entered a joint-venture with Indian biotechnology giant Vivo BioTech Ltd and local company Vanguard Creative Technologies Sdn Bhd to set up primate, small animals and canine testing laboratories in the state.

The project will be undertaken by joint-venture company Vivo Biotech Sdn Bhd, formed with all three companies as partners after the memorandum of understanding was inked in New Delhi last January by Mohd Ali and representatives from Vivo BioTech and Vanguard.

Protest against Indian testing lab in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: More than a dozen animal right activists on Wednesday assembled in front of the Indian High Commission here to protest against a planned animal testing lab to be set up by an Indian company in Malaysia's Malacca state.

The plans by India's Vivo BioTech Ltd to set up a biotechnology centre in southern Malacca state has come under fire by activists because it will conduct tests on dogs and primates to make medicines.

The activists say Malaysia has no regulations on animal research, which could lead to test subjects being abused.

Undeterred by the scorching sun, the protesters, with one of its members dressed as a rat, stood at the gates of the High Commission, demanding the company to halt its plans to build the controversial testing facility.

The protest was organised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) Asia.

The protesters carried placards which read :'Vivo Bio Tech: Quit Malaysia!' and 'Keep cruel animal tests out of Malaysia!'.

They chanted "quit, quit quit! quit right now!" as police personnel monitored the situation.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Selangor chairperson Christine Chin and two other members of the group went into the building to submit a memorandum of protest to the High Commissioner Vijay Gokhale.

The SPCA also collected signatures in support of their joint petition against the facility which will be later sent to Prime Minister Najib Razak and Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam once 10,000 signatures are in hand.

Among those who took part in the protest were Miss Malaysia/World 2009-2010 Thanuja Aanandhan, who is also a Peta ambassador, and opposition senator S Ramakrishnan.

This is the second protest held since plans for the animal testing facility were made public in April.

The first was organised in a suburb near here by a coalition comprising the SPCA, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments.

The proposed facility has sparked international outrage, particularly after Malacca chief minister Mohd Ali defended company's plans, saying that God created monkeys and rats for experiments to benefit humans.

Plans to build the facility in Malacca were put in motion after state-owned Melaka Biotech, Vanguard Creative Technologies Sdn Bhd and Vivo Bio Tech inked a memorandum of understanding on the facility following negotiations in India last January.

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