For Immediate Release:
2 June 2020
Dr Dipti Kapoor; [email protected]
Hiraj Laljani ; [email protected]
Group Urges PM Modi to Pursue Human-Relevant Technology, End Use of Animals
New Delhi – Lauding the efforts made and leadership shown by our government in the search for potential COVID-19 treatment plans, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to prioritise and increase investment in human-relevant, non-animal therapies in order to fight disease.
In the letter, PETA India praises Modi’s government for allowing some costly, time-consuming, and ineffective tests on animals to be avoided in the search for COVID-19 treatments and cures – and urges him to prioritise investment in modern, non-animal scientific research and to update policies and regulations to facilitate the development of humane, human-derived therapeutics for other diseases, too. The group has also put forward a detailed plan of action proposing strategic priorities for modernising research and testing in India.
PETA India outlines the importance of using established human-derived therapeutic treatments such as convalescent plasma (CP) and techniques such as phage display. Phage display can be used to produce human-derived antibodies on an industrial scale in order to treat COVID-19 patients without the continual need for CP from human volunteers and without using animals.
The group stresses that this pandemic presents an opportunity to set improved standards for testing the safety and efficacy of new therapeutics, as regulatory agencies and governing bodies in India and around the world are acknowledging that regulations requiring misleading animal testing before human clinical trials are barriers to introducing life-saving drugs.
“Humane, human-specific therapies for COVID-19 are required urgently, and there are many animal-free strategies that can be used to develop treatments to meet these needs,” says PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr Dipti Kapoor. “PETA India is urging Prime Minister Modi to go full steam ahead in working to develop cruelty-free therapeutics that will fight deadly diseases effectively.”
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – also wrote to Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology, and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan regarding this matter.