Import of animals to Brazil for research purposes
Making scientific researches using animals to make lab experiences before applying in humans is common in many countries, and importing these animals to Brazil faces some trouble as bureaucracy.
The use of animals on lab researches divides many people's opinion all over the world. In Brazil, this topic is not discussed as it should be, but the bureaucracy to obtain authorization to start researches with animals, mainly when they have to be imported to the country subsidized by the government, is considerable.
It was very common to see animals being used in biology classes at Brazilian schools about ten years ago, when it was already forbidden for the law of environmental crimes, established in 1979 , but the government banned this practice more hardly, creating complementary laws to protect animals of dissection classes on basic school classes.
The government stipulated that the use of animals would be restricted to higher education and vocational courses bound to biology, medical or scientific researches. Although the usage of animals is complicated, once Brazil does not have all the kinds of animals necessary for realizing researches.
Most of researches need inbred animals, that are the ones with specific genetic problems, but as said before, it is not always that the country has these animals, needing to import them. And when importing through the government is necessary, the problem of bureaucracy begins.
The process to import animals for lab researches - subsidized by the government or not -, starts with a prior authorization provided by the Department of Animal and Sanitary Defense Ministry of Agriculture. This authorization will contain information, such as the place where the animals are going to arrive in Brazil and all the institutions where the process of sanitary inspection will be done.
It is important to alert you that all the animals, with the exception of the domestic ones (that have different rules to enter the country) , have to pass by this sanitary inspection to be allowed to enter in Brazil.
Importing animals is not very difficult in Brazil, when subsidized by a private institution or organization, once these authorizations and inspections only occur to guarantee the security of population's health and confirm if there is not any animal illegally coming to the country. This authorization is conceded regionally, having different taxes according to the specie and purposes.
If the research depends on the government agility to import the animals it can take a long time and a problematic delay on the results. There are many reports about people that had to bear the costs of importation of the animals due to the lack of interest of the government.
The mainly problem of the government is the bureaucracy, once laws and rules are interpreted as the government convenience. Some universities lose the opportunity to invest in good projects due to the slow process of authorization and transfer of funds that in many cases, never happen.
Brazil has a very good potential to stop using animals for lab researches, but the investment in this area is still very low. In 2011 the first scientific center that works without using animals on researches was announced by the government, called Centro Brasileiro de Validação de Métodos Alternativos (Brazilian Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods ).
This center will be the first one in Brazil that has the responsibility and conscience of making researches that look for alternatives instead of using animals in previous studies, in order to transform these alternative methods in official ones.