After being contacted by PETA India, distinguished Member of Parliament and former Health Minister Shatrughan Sinha sent a letter to Medical Council of India President Dr Jayshree Mehta urging her to ban all animal dissection and experimentation in the teaching of postgraduate medical courses in favour of using superior and humane non-animal methods. In the letter, Sinha points out that such alternatives include cost-efficient computer-assisted learning, clinical exercises, and human-patient simulation technology – training techniques that are already used in top medical schools worldwide.
PETA India staff scientist Dr Rohit Bhatia has met with Dr Mehta and members of the committee that is discussing amendments to the Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, to request that they remove animal experiments and dissection from the regulations for postgraduate courses. PETA India has also written to the current Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, asking him to help ban the use of animals in postgraduate teaching.
PETA India notes that The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, requires that non-animal training methods be used when they’re available and that the use of animals for teaching purposes in both undergraduate and graduate courses has already been ended by the University Grants Commission, the Pharmacy Council of India, and the Dental Council of India. Furthermore, the Medical Council of India has ended it in undergraduate medical education. PETA India also notes that medical schools in the United States and Canada have replaced the use of animals to train medical students with modern non-animal methods – and it’s time for those in India to do the same.
Studies show that exposing students to animal dissection can traumatise them, foster insensitivity towards animals, and even dissuade some from pursuing careers in science.
Students, if your university or college tries to force you to dissect animals or conducts experiments for the purposes of training, please write to [email protected]. We’ll work to help you stop it.