For Immediate Release:
15 June 2011
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]
National Institute Accepts Group’s Offer of Guidance
New Delhi – Following a nearly three-year campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to pressure the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to retire aging monkeys who have been subjected to cruel living conditions for many years and to improve living conditions for all the animals it uses, AIIMS has made significant improvements in the care and disposition of animals at its Central Animal Facility in New Delhi.
These improvements include a cessation of all experiments on monkeys and sheep until additional improvements are made; the sending of six monkeys to an animal shelter and the designation of additional monkeys for rehabilitation; and the relocation of other monkeys from small, barren cages in which they were typically kept alone to more spacious runs where they can be housed in groups.
The improvements are being announced on the heels of a meeting between PETA Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate, the chair of AIIMS’ Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, Dr YK Gupta, and AIIMS Senior Veterinary Officer Dr Pradeep Yadav. The changes are also in line with the recommendations of the Committee for the Purpose and Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals. Additionally, AIIMS has agreed to work with PETA to make further improvements in animal welfare and PETA is pushing AIIMS to explore modern alternatives to experimenting on animals.
“We are pleased at being at this new stage in our campaign and sincerely hope that AIIMS’ positive actions are the beginning of a continued effort to improve conditions for these animals, who have suffered terribly”, says PETA’s Dr Manilal Valliyate. “In addition to being cruel, experiments on animals are irrelevant to human health. PETA India’s US affiliate’s scientists stand ready to help advise AIIMS on replacing outdated animal tests with effective, non-animal methods just as they have advised a number of US-based multi-national corporations in doing so.”
Undercover video footage taken inside AIIMS’ Central Animal Facility in 2008 revealed that many monkeys were living isolated in tiny cages that were barren and rusty. Sick and injured animals, including rabbits who suffered from an infectious skin disease and wounded guinea pigs and rats, were left untreated. Many rats and monkeys turned in endless circles in the small cages, having been driven insane by laboratory conditions.
PETA’s campaign received an outpouring of high-profile support, including from Pamela Anderson, Cyrus Broacha, Celina Jaitly and former Health Minister Shatrughan Sinha. The broadcast-quality video footage mentioned above can be found here: http://petaav.com/4broadcast/AIIMS_PAL.htm
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.