A new notification by the University Grants Commission is set to save the lives of an estimated 19 million animals every year. That’s because following discussions with PETA India and Minister Maneka Gandhi, the commission has issued a notification ending dissection and experimentation (for training purposes) in university and college zoology and life sciences undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The UGC’s decision is an improvement to the partial ban on dissection it issued in 2011. The UGC is the apex regulatory body for higher education in the country.
PETA had met with UGC officials on numerous occasions to show them that in nearly every published study on science education, non-animal methods – including computer simulations, interactive CD-ROMs, films, charts and lifelike models – are shown to teach anatomy and complex biological processes as well as and often better than cruel, archaic animal laboratories.
The UGC’s latest action is now in line with the 2012 Ministry of Environment and Forests’ directive to the UGC and other education bodies to end dissection and experimentation on animals for training both undergraduate and postgraduate students and to use non-animal methods of teaching instead.
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 purpose of training, please write to [email protected]. We will work to help you stop it.