Victory: UGC Issue Guidelines To End Dissections And Animal Experiment In Zoology And Life Sciences Courses

For Immediate Release:

23 November 2011


Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Dr Chaitanya Koduri; [email protected]

PETA India and Rahul Bose Help Modernize Zoology and Life Science Studies Saving the Lives of 19 Million Animals Each Year

New Delhi – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India is celebrating a major victory for animals that was achieved with the help of actor Rahul Bose that is estimated to save 19 million animals’ lives each year. The University Grants Commission (UGC) – the apex regulatory body for higher education in India – has published official  recommendations calling for an end to animal dissection and animal experimentation for university and college zoology and life sciences courses in a phased manner on their website ( Soon, the UGC will be sending these life-saving recommendations to teaching institutions across India for implementation.

The UGC’s decision follows PETA’s extensive campaign, which included letters to the chair and expert committee of the UGC, petitions from students and other caring individuals asking for a dissection ban and an appeal from Rahul Bose. Soon undergraduate students will no longer be required to dissect animals and dissection will be optional for postgraduate students. In addition, universities will be informed that they must also adhere to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which prohibits the killing of amphibians and certain insects, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The recommendations also call for modern non-animal systems like software to replace the use of animals for experimentation. Dr BK Sharma, member of the expert committee that advised UGC and Associate Professor & Head, Department of Zoology, RL Saharia Government PG College estimates this move will save the lives of approximately 19 million animals each year.

“By eliminating animal dissection and phasing out animal experimentation, Indian’s top university governing body is making sure that students use the most modern education tools possible, meaning computer models over animals”, says PETA India Science Policy Advisor Dr Chaitanya Koduri. “Compassionate students across the country will now be able to learn without being forced to hurt and kill animals in the classroom.”

Every year, frogs, mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits suffer suffering and die for university laboratories. The UGC’s panel of experts agree with the findings of nearly every published comparative study in science-education literature: 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 scientific careers rather than violate their principles.

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