Living through a pandemic can sometimes feel like being stuck on a never-ending carousel where nothing ever changes. But PETA India’s work is always moving forward, and the achievements we’ve made for animals in laboratories over the last two years show that nothing, not even a global pandemic, can slow us down!
PETA India has always said that trying to cure human diseases by experimenting on other species is cruel, misleading, and unnecessary: 95% of pharmaceutical drugs that pass animal tests fail in human trials because they don’t work or are dangerous, according to the US National Institutes of Health. Meanwhile, sophisticated methods such as human clinical and epidemiological studies, human tissue– and cell-based research, and organs-on-chips can spare animals tremendous suffering and death, while producing results that are more accurate and relevant to human health.
Our message is getting through to the powers that be – the agencies that require experiments on animals – and they’re making life-saving changes. Here are just some of the exciting scientific advancements PETA entities have helped secure since 2020. Read on and celebrate with us!
- European Parliament Votes to Phase Out Animal Experiments: After reviewing PETA UK’s Research Modernisation Deal (RMD), members of Europe’s parliament voted almost unanimously in favour of a plan to phase out all tests on animals! The RMD is a first-of-its-kind roadmap for shifting science away from experiments on animals and towards humane and human-relevant methods. Now, PETA India is urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to devise a similar action plan.
- Lakmé Joins the PETA US Global Beauty Without Bunnies Programme: The number one make-up brand in the country has joined the PETA US Beauty Without Bunnies programme, which certifies cosmetics, personal-care products, and household goods companies and brands that don’t test on animals. Lakmé is flaunting its cruelty-free status with the PETA-approved bunny logo on its packaging.
- Bureau of Indian Standards Removes Deadly Guinea Pig Test: Following recommendations from PETA India, the Bureau of Indian Standards replaced a crude and cruel test used to check for pathogens in animal feed, in which guinea pigs injected with contaminated feed suffered slow, painful deaths from internal bleeding. The new PCR test is more precise and spares countless gentle guinea pigs.
- IPC Proposes to Reduce Experimentation on Animals: The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) proposed a significant reduction in required tests on cows, rabbits, and other animals for assessing a drug’s action or effects in living systems. Its proposal includes PETA India’s endorsement that non-animal methods can effectively replace testing on animals and mandates that companies minimise and justify their use of animals for these experiments.
- New Cosmetics Rules Strengthen Import Ban: PETA India influenced the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s new Cosmetics Rules, 2020, which mandate that manufacturers and importers submit safety data using only non-animal test methods. A declaration that imported cosmetics weren’t tested on animals is also required.
- ‘No Killer Toxicity Tests on Animals’, Says IPC: Following years of pressure by PETA India, the IPC removed the “abnormal toxicity test” from the human vaccine monographs of the Indian Pharmacopoeia, the official compilation of approved tests for drugs domestically manufactured and marketed. This move spares thousands of guinea pigs and mice this notoriously flawed test, in which animals are injected with a vaccine to detect contaminants. A batch in which no animals die is deemed “safe”. However, no animals used in this test are safe: those who don’t die during the experiment are killed afterwards.
- Animal Abuse Discouraged for Nano-Based Product Testing: After PETA India’s input, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Biotechnology and the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare included provisions that encourage replacing tests for nano-based products on animals with non-animal test methods. Animals used in these experiments are forced to consume or inhale a test substance before they’re killed.
- Pandemic Proves That Testing on Animals Is Not Needed: Medicine regulators around the world, including India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, have chosen to abbreviate tests on animals in the race to produce a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine. Building on this momentum, PETA India is asking the Indian government to continue prioritising investment in human-relevant, non-animal therapies to fight COVID-19 and other diseases.
- Medical College Ends Experiments on Animals: A concerned student informed PETA India that rabbits were being used to train undergraduate medical students at the Maharaja Agrasen Medical College in Agroha, Haryana. The animals were allegedly denied food for days at a time and confined to crowded, filthy, wire-floored cages that cut into their paws. PETA India pointed out that these conditions appeared to violate not only the Medical Council of India’s 2014 notification and the Indian government’s 2012 directive to replace animal dissection with modern, non-animal teaching methods but also the regulations established by the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals on the use of animals in experiments. After hearing from PETA India, the school agreed to stop using animals for any undergraduate course demonstrations or experiments!
- First Non-Animal 3-D Lung Model Launched: Thanks to funding from PETA Science Consortium International e.V., of which PETA India is a member, MatTek Life Sciences developed EpiAlveolar, the first-of-its-kind human cell–based alveolar model that studies the effects of chemicals, nanomaterials, pathogens, e-cigarette smoke, and other substances on the deepest part of human lungs. This model spares countless animals being forced to inhale substances before being killed.
- GlaxoSmithKline Ends Near-Drowning Experiments: After hearing from PETA UK and PETA US, multinational pharmaceutical companies Bristol Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, and Amgen stopped using the widely discredited forced swim test, in which mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils are dropped into inescapable beakers filled with water and forced to swim for their lives in a pointless attempt to study human depression.
Momentum is clearly on the side of compassion! Please help PETA India keep the wins coming: buy only cruelty-free cosmetics and household products; donate only to charities that never test on animals; speak out against cruel experiments on animals; and spread the word to everyone you know. Together, we can modernise science and save lives.
Why It Is Wrong to Experiment on Animals