For Immediate Release:
20 May 2013
Employees Caught on Tape Tormenting and Beating Guinea Pigs to Death
Calicut, Kerala – Following the release of undercover video footage showing guinea pigs being tormented and beaten to death at Kerala University’s Calicut Medical College, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has filed a First Information Report (FIR) with the Kerala police calling for charges of cruelty to animals to be filed against an employee – a gardener identified only as Mr Vishwanathan – and four high-ranking school officials. In the video footage, which was shot by Manorama News on 10 May, a man who is reportedly Vishwanathan is shown forcefully yanking guinea pigs by their ears from baskets and striking them on the head with a stick.
“According to the evidence, Calicut Medical College is tormenting and painfully killing animals it’s not even supposed to have”, says PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr Chaitanya Koduri. “We’re calling on the police to help put an end to these atrocities and hold all guilty parties accountable.”
Because the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in January 2012 ordered that all medical and pharmaceutical programmes replace the use of animals with non-animal methods, PETA India has also asked the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experimentation on Animals to cancel the college’s registration to use animals. PETA has also informed the MoEF and the Animal Welfare Board of India about the alleged crimes.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, states that it is illegal “[i]f any person beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering or causes, or being the owner permits, any animal to be so treated”. Also named in PETA’s FIR to the police are K Mohandas, vice chancellor of Kerala University of Health Sciences; Dr Ravindran, principal, Calicut Medical College; Dr Jean Maliekkal, head of physiology, Calicut Medical College and Dr Narayana, head of pharmacology, Calicut Medical College.
PETA’s letters are available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.