Following discussions with PETA India, the Initiative for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS) and Intel Technology India Pvt Ltd have agreed to amend the rules of the IRIS Science Fair – India’s largest student science competition – to ban experiments on animals beginning in 2014. In recognition of their progressive decision to support humane science, Intel and IRIS will each receive PETA’s Compassionate Action Award.
Although IRIS reports that animal use is rare, current rules allow for a variety of painful experiments on animals, and up to 49 per cent of animals in an experiment can be killed. The new IRIS guidelines read, “Projects involving animal subjects or animal data are limited to … [u]se of data from pre-existing, publicly available resources [or] … observational or behavioral projects that involve animals in their natural environment”. All the projects should strictly comply with The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
In 2012, following discussions with PETA US, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair – the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, of which IRIS is a precursor – amended its rules to ban deadly experiments on animals and strongly endorse the use of non-animal research methods. The popular Google Science Fair’s rules also ban all experiments on animals, stipulating that only data gathered from past experiments or from observations of animals in their natural environment may be used.
IRIS is a cooperative effort between Intel, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Indian Department of Science and Technology. Intel and IRIS will each receive a framed certificate.
This award is part of PETA’s work to ensure that students engage in only the best in humane and progressive non-animal research.