American Physicians Group Urges Ugc To Modernise By Ending College Dissection

For Immediate Release:

19 April 2010



Anuradha Srivastava (0) 9987497167; [email protected]


New Delhi – Following efforts by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to persuade the University Grants Commission (UGC) to ban dissection in college zoology courses, a director of the US organisation the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has written to UGC Chair Sukhadeo Thorat asking that the commission put an end to the use of animals in university courses.


In the letter, Dr Hope Ferdowsian, the director of research policy for PCRM, points out that the wide range of non-animal methods now available are superior to the use of live animals in experiments. Nearly every published comparative study in science education literature has concluded that non-animal methods – including computer simulations, interactive CD-ROMs, films, charts and lifelike models – teach anatomy and complex biological processes as well as or better than animal-based lessons.


PCRM feels that dissection sends a dangerous message to students that animals’ lives and feelings are unworthy of consideration. Research has shown that a significant number of students at every educational level are uncomfortable with the use of animals in dissection and experimentation. Dissection can also put students’ health at risk since formaldehyde, the agent that is used to preserve animals who are killed for dissection, is a hazardous chemical that can cause nausea, headaches and breathing difficulties and has been linked to cancer. Dissection also devastates the environment by decimating wild populations of amphibians.


“Dissection endangers animals, students and ecosystems”, says PETA India campaigner Dr Anuradha Srivastava. “Replacing cruel and archaic experiments on animals with computer models and other modern methods will improve students’ understanding of biology while saving the lives of countless animals.”


Dr Hope Ferdowsian’s letter to UGC Chair Sukhadeo Thorat is available upon request. For more information, please visit

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