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Following PETA Pressure, Minister Jayanthi Natarajan Personally Inspects 70 Beagles Wrongly Imported For Cruel Tests

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For Immediate Release:
1 December 2012

Contact:
Dr Chaitanya Koduri +918767446083; ChaitanyaK@petaindia.org
Sachin Bangera +919820122561; SachinB@petaindia.org

Government Still Investigating Dogs Falsely Imported From China as 'Pets'

Chennai, Tamil Nadu – Today, Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan flew to Chennai to personally inspect 70 beagles who were imported from China by Advinus Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical laboratory in Bangalore, following a rigorous campaign for their release by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. The visit follows PETA's notification of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experimentation on Animals that it was falsely stated on an Animal Quarantine & Certification Service document that the dogs were "pets", rather than for experiments. PETA also learned that Cathay Pacific Airways, which has a strict policy against transporting animals to laboratories, was misinformed by the supplier, Beijing Marshall Biotechnology Co., Ltd., that the dogs would not be used or killed in a laboratory. PETA is calling on the government to release the dogs to PETA, People For Animals Chennai and Blue Cross Chennai to be put up for adoption.

"PETA commends and thanks Minister Natarajan for devoting the serious attention to this case that it deserves. These friendly, lovable dogs will spend the rest of their lives caged in a laboratory, where they will likely be poisoned, cut open, and killed if they are not rescued and released to PETA and other animal protection groups", says PETA's science policy advisor, Dr Chaitanya Kumar. "PETA calls on the government to permit the beagles to be used for the purpose stated on quarantine paperwork, 'pets', and to be spared from cruel tests."

According to the Livestock Importation Act, 1898, guidelines for importing animals to be used in a laboratory are different from those for importing pets. It has further been reported that preliminary government investigations revealed that there was a mismatch in terms of the number of dogs requested by the Bangalore-based laboratory, the number imported by them and the number of animals really used for various tests by the laboratory.

During the inspection, Natarajan, in addition to affirming her commitment to this investigation, informed the media that she will make it a priority to focus on the Animal Welfare Act 2011, which if passed in the form drafted by the Animal Welfare Board of India, would strengthen India's weak penalties for cases of cruelty to animals.

Experimenters use beagles because of their friendly and docile nature. Beagles in laboratories spend their lonely lives in cages and are often poisoned with drugs, burned with chemicals or cut open in experimental surgical procedures. At the end of most of these experiments, the animals are killed and dissected.

For more information about PETA, please visit PETAIndia.com.

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