Unique Workshop To Replace Animals In Training Classes At AIIMS And Other Colleges Is A PETA Project

For Immediate Release

17 January 2012


Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Dr Chaitanya Koduri; [email protected]

Landmark Programme Trains Instructors in Use of Modern, Humane Teaching Tools

New Delhi – This month, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India is sponsoring a series of free continuing medical education workshops on alternatives to the use of animals in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programmes at numerous Indian medical colleges. The series is the first of its kind in India and will be launched on 19 January at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The series was developed after the adoption of a policy by the Medical Council of India in 2009 that cleared the way for medical schools to end all use of animals in MBBS training. Other schools presenting the professional advancement workshops include St John’s Medical College in Bangalore, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Pondicherry and Christian Medical College in Ludhiana.

“By relegating the use of animals in training to the history books, India’s medical colleges will ensure that students are given the most modern educational tools available”, says PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr Chaitanya Koduri. “Students across the country can now learn life-saving techniques without participating in cruel classroom exercises that defy the physicians’ Hippocratic Oath to help, heal and save lives.”

In the US, non-animal medical training curricula have already been adopted in 95 per cent of programmes and are 100 per cent in use across Canada and the UK. Institutions in these countries provide students with the latest training methods, including human-patient simulators, supervised clinical practice and interactive computer-aided teaching models. Non-animal training methods have repeatedly proved to be superior to those that use animals.

The workshops will feature presentations and demonstrations by leading medical experts, including John Pawlowski, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School (US); David Dewhurst, PhD, University of Edinburgh (UK) and Mohammad Akbarsha, PhD, Bharathidasan University (Tiruchirappalli, India).

In June 2011, PETA India announced that it had worked cooperatively with AIIMS to see significant improvements in the care and disposition of animals at AIIMS’ Central Animal Facility in New Delhi. AIIMS is now working with PETA India to make further improvements in animal welfare and to explore modern research methods that do not involve experimenting on animals.

The workshop will be held from 9 am to 5 pm at Dr Ramalingaswamy Board Room, AIIMS. Media may attend anytime during the event; but, the speakers will answer media queries between 5 and 6 pm.

Additional information about the workshops, a photograph of a human-patient simulator that can be used instead of animals and the programme schedule are available from PETA upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.