On Saturday, 1 December 2012, Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan flew to Chennai to personally inspect 70 beagles who had been imported from China by Advinus Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical laboratory in Bangalore, following a rigorous campaign for their release by PETA India.
The visit comes after PETA notified 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 by 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.
Preliminary government investigations also 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.
PETA commends and thanks Natarajan for giving the serious attention to this case that it deserves.
More than 50,000 people have written to authorities calling for the beagles’ release. Are you one of them? Please take action now.