PETA Holds National Workshop With Mafsu To Promote Humane Teaching Methods For Veterinary Students; Veterinary Council Of India President A Keynote Speaker

For Immediate Release:
5 June 2013

Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Veterinary Professors From Colleges and Universities Across India to Attend

Mumbai – Following a letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) calling for an end to veterinary-science instruction using the corpses of animals killed specifically for dissection for anatomy lessons, Maharashtra Animal & Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU) is phasing out the cruel practice. In a letter sent to its various colleges throughout the state, MAFSU wrote, “Replacing live animals with advanced technology is not only humane but also a legal requirement as per Chapter IV of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960”. In addition, the university – in association with PETA – is organising a national workshop to familiarise anatomy and surgery department faculty from veterinary colleges all over India with humane methods of educating students, such as obtaining cadavers ethically and using models and computer simulation programmes. The keynote speakers at the 6 June workshop at Bombay Veterinary College include Professor AK Misra, the vice chancellor of MAFSU; Lt Gen (Retd) Dr Narayan Mohanty, the president of the Veterinary Council of India; and Maj Gen (Retd) Dr RM Kharb, Chair of the Animal Welfare Board of India. Professor MSA Kumar from Tufts University will be the lead facilitator.

More than 70 delegates from the surgery and anatomy departments of 37 veterinary colleges in India will attend the workshop, including faculty from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chattishgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Orissa, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

“PETA commends Maharashtra Animal & Fishery Sciences University for working to put an end to the cruel and unnecessary practice of killing animals to teach anatomy and for helping other veterinary colleges in India follow suit”, says PETA India’s director of veterinary affairs, Dr Manilal Valliyate. “Soon, veterinary students who want to dedicate their lives to alleviating animal suffering can attend anatomy classes knowing that they need not cause an animal to suffer.”

Every year, an estimated 1,000 calves are killed in India to teach veterinary anatomy and surgery to students, and thousands of frogs, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits suffer and die in college laboratories. 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 inhumane and archaic animal laboratories.

Because of its inherent cruelty to animals, dissection can deter students from achieving in the sciences. Research has shown 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 careers in science rather than violating their principles.

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