You did it! Your help with PETA’s extensive campaign to end the dissection of animals has helped lead to a groundbreaking decision that, according to Dr BK Sharma, associate professor and head of the Department of Zoology at the RL Saharia Government PG College in Jaipur, is estimated to save the lives of 19 million animals each year.
On their website, the University Grants Commission (UGC) – the apex regulatory body for higher education in India – has published official recommendations calling for an end to animal dissection and animal experimentation for university and college zoology and life-sciences courses in a phased manner (http://www.ugc.ac.in/notices/guidelines_animaldisection.pdf). The UGC is set to send these life-saving recommendations to teaching institutions across India for implementation.
Soon, undergraduate students will no longer be required to dissect animals, and dissection will be optional for postgraduate students. In addition, universities will be informed that they must also adhere to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which prohibits the killing of amphibians and certain insects, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
“By eliminating animal dissection and phasing out animal experimentation, Indian’s top university governing body is making sure that students use the most modern education tools possible, meaning computer models over animals”, says PETA India Science Policy Advisor Dr Chaitanya Koduri. “Compassionate students across the country will now be able to learn without being forced to hurt and kill animals in the classroom.”
PETA’s campaign included an appeal from Rahul Bose, letters to the chair and expert committee of the UGC and petitions from students and other caring individuals asking for a dissection ban. This outcome was possible also because of the hard work of other caring individuals and scientists, including Ms Maneka Gandhi and People for Animals, Dr. Shiranee Pereira and ICARE, as well as thanks to the work of Dr. Mohammad Akbarsha and the Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Centre (MGDC) for Alternatives to Use of Animals in Life Science Education, which was the critical academic player pushing for more humane methods of teaching students.
If your university refuses to implement these recommendations, please let us know by writing to [email protected].