PETA Donates Software to Help Medical Colleges, Just in Time for International Day for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release:

19 May 2017


Dr Rohit Bhatia; [email protected]

Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]

Medical Schools Welcome Modern Teaching Tools That Help Professors Ditch Cruel, Archaic Methods and Cut Out Dissection

Delhi – Just in time for the International Day for Biological Diversity (22May), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India is pleased to announce that many students will now have the opportunity to learn medical science through methods that don’t involve crudely cutting into dead animals and also help to conserve biodiversity. This is all thanks to PETA India’s donation of Elsevier’s Animal Simulator education software to the Department of Pharmacology at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh; Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Kangra in Tanda, Himachal Pradesh; and Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

The Animal Simulator is a locally developed computer-assisted learning tool that’s designed for undergraduate and postgraduate students of medicine and pharmacology, and it can replace the use of animals to train students. Elsevier has also committed to donating software to more institutes via PETA India in the future.

India’s population of frogs has plummeted in recent years. To help prevent biodiversity loss like this and to give students higher-quality education – following efforts by PETA India, progressive scientists, and others – the University Grants Commission prohibited the use of animal dissection in life sciences and zoology courses. The Medical Council of India has also refused to allow the use of animals to train undergraduate students – favouring modern, non-animal techniques instead. PETA India has since been on hand to assist institutions with the transition to sophisticated, non-animal teaching methods, including by donating simulation software.

“By providing students with the means to learn science with humane, modern, animal-free methods, these institutions are offering a more effective and far superior education while protecting wildlife and other animals,” says PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr Rohit Bhatia. “Students of medicine want to save lives, not be part of taking them away.”

Comparative studies have repeatedly shown that non-animal teaching methods – including computer simulations, interactive CD-ROMs, films, charts, and lifelike models – are more effective for teaching biology than crude, animal-based ones. These tools can be used repeatedly, which saves time and money, and they also help maintain ecological balance by sparing animals’ lives.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – notes that non-animal testing methods also foster a friendlier learning environment. Research shows that a significant number of students at every educational level are uncomfortable with the use of animals in dissection and experimentation, and some even turn away from scientific careers rather than violating their principles.

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