Shatrughan Sinha Urges Medical Council of India to End Animal Use in Teaching Postgraduate Students

For Immediate Release:

11 July 2018


Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Garima Jain; [email protected]

Former Health Minister Suggests Modern Methods, Not Animals, Should Be Used to Teach Student

Delhi – After being contacted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, distinguished Member of Parliament and former Health Minister Shatrughan Sinha sent a letter to Medical Council of India President Dr Jayshree Mehta urging her to ban all animal dissection and experimentation in the teaching of postgraduate medical courses in favour of using superior and humane non-animal methods. In the letter, Sinha points out that such alternatives include cost-efficient computer-assisted learning, clinical exercises, and human-patient simulation technologies – training techniques that are already used in top medical schools worldwide. The letter is available upon request.

“Animal dissection is a vestige of a crueller, less enlightened time before modern technology and teaching methods existed,” writes Sinha. “Moreover, in 2012, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued guidelines to the Medical Council of India, the Pharmacy Council of India, and the University Grants Commission to stop dissection and experimentation on animals entirely in the training of undergraduate and postgraduate students and to use only non-animal teaching methods.”

PETA India staff scientist Dr Rohit Bhatia has met with Dr Mehta and members of the committee that’s discussing the Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, to request that they remove animal experiments and dissection from the regulations for postgraduate courses. PETA India has also written to the current Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, asking him to help ban the use of animals in postgraduate teaching.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – notes that The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, requires non-animal training methods to be used when available and that the use of animals for teaching purposes in both undergraduate and graduate courses has already been ended by the University Grants Commission, the Pharmacy Council of India, and the Dental Council of India. And the Medical Council of India has ended it in undergraduate medical education. PETA India further notes that medical schools in the United States and Canada have replaced the use of animals to train medical students with modern non-animal methods –and it’s time for India to do the same.

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