Pesticides Registration Committee of India Takes Steps to Reduce Testing On Animals

For Immediate Release:
18 January 2016

Dr Chaitanya Koduri; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

PETA Comments Prompt Implementation of Strategies That Reduce Numbers of Animals Used in Tests but More Must Be Done

New Delhi – Following a new request from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the registration committee for pesticides within the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has agreed to accept strategies that reduce the number of animals used in toxicity testing of pesticides – saving thousands of animal lives. In a recent ongoing discussion to review the “Guidance Document on Toxicology for Registration of Pesticides in India”, the committee agreed to allow some tests to be combined instead of conducted separately, which can significantly reduce the number of animals used. Furthermore, the committee will allow the waiver of some tests on animals, such as those in which dogs are repeatedly fed pesticides for three months, if satisfactory existing data can be provided. The committee will continue discussions with industry stakeholders, including manufacturers, about further reductions in animal testing.

“PETA India works to reduce suffering wherever we can, and these improvements so far will spare a large number of animals”, says PETA India Chief Executive Officer Poorva Joshipura. “We’re more hopeful than ever that future changes to Indian regulations will replace all animal tests with modern, humane options.”

PETA India’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”. The group hopes to make that philosophy a reality by promoting and funding non-animal research methods.

PETA India is encouraged by the progress made so far but says there’s more to be done. The organisation advocates for the acceptance of validated non-animal methods for measuring skin and eye irritation and skin sensitisation that can replace cruel and painful tests in which chemicals are applied to the sensitive skin or eyes of rabbits and guinea pigs. The group is also urging the committee to accept a validated alternative reproductive toxicity test method that reduces the number of animals from about 2600 to 1400 because a second generation of animals is not bred. Furthermore, PETA India stresses that it is critical that the committee require pesticides to be tested according to internationally accepted test guidelines published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in order to ensure that data generated in India is accepted around the world so as to prevent duplication of tests on animals.

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