For Immediate Release:
2 February 2021
Dipti M Kapoor; [email protected]
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
The Revised Standard for Animal Feed Safety Incorporates Polymerase Chain Reaction Test for Better Results and to Save Animals’ Lives
New Delhi – Following recommendations by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Bureau of Indian Standards’ Animal Husbandry, Feeds and Equipment subcommittee – which oversees animal husbandry, feed, and equipment – has replaced a cruel test on guinea pigs used for detecting and identifying pathogenic organisms, which make feed unfit for animal consumption when present. The standard “Methods of Tests for Animal Feeds and Feeding Stuffs, Part 3: Microbiological Methods” has been approved by the Food and Agriculture Division Council, which is under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
The foreword to the published revised standard states, “The new methods incorporated in this standard are based on Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), which are not only very precise and sensitive but also preclude the use of guinea pigs for laboratory testing.”
“This progressive move will spare countless gentle guinea pigs excruciatingly painful and terrifying deaths caused by being injected with pathogens,” says PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr Dipti M Kapoor. “PETA India lauds the national standards body for embracing this science-backed change, and we look forward to working with it to replace all animal tests with superior, non-animal research methods in the Indian Standards.”
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – notes that in the confirmatory tests in question, guinea pigs were injected with a feed sample. If the bacterium Bacillus anthracis or its spores, which cause anthrax, a life-threatening disease that can spread from animals to humans were present, the animals endured a slow, agonizing death – which took as long as 48 hours – as they bled internally and their internal organs, such as the spleen, liver, and stomach, became filled with blood and fluids.