PETA India is pleased to announce that many students will now have the opportunity to learn medical science through methods that don’t involve crudely cutting into dead animals and also help to conserve biodiversity. This is all thanks to PETA India’s donation of Elsevier’s Animal Simulator education software to the Department of Pharmacology at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh; Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Kangra in Tanda, Himachal Pradesh; and Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
The Animal Simulator is a locally developed computer-assisted learning tool that’s designed for undergraduate and postgraduate students of medicine and pharmacology, and it can replace the use of animals to train students. Elsevier has also committed to donating software to more institutes via PETA India in the future.
India’s population of frogs has plummeted in recent years. To help prevent biodiversity loss like this and to give students higher-quality education – following efforts by PETA India, progressive scientists, and others – the University Grants Commission prohibited the use of animal dissection in life sciences and zoology courses. The Medical Council of India has also refused to allow the use of animals to train undergraduate students – favouring modern, non-animal techniques instead. PETA India has since been on hand to assist institutions with the transition to sophisticated, non-animal teaching methods, including by donating simulation software.
Comparative studies have repeatedly shown that non-animal teaching methods – including computer simulations, interactive CD-ROMs, films, charts, and lifelike models – are more effective for teaching biology than crude, animal-based ones. These items can be used repeatedly, which saves time and money, and they also help maintain ecological balance by sparing animals’ lives.
PETA notes that non-animal testing methods also foster a friendlier learning environment. Research shows that a significant number of students at every educational level are uncomfortable with the use of animals in dissection and experimentation, and some even turn away from scientific careers rather than violating their principles.
If you’re an educator who would like to be in touch with PETA about modern, non-animal methods of teaching students, contact our Science Policy Advisor Dr Rohit Bhatia on [email protected].