UGC instructs all universities to reduce animal usage in labs

ugc_bans_animal_dissectionIn a move that is directed towards preserving the country’s rich bio-diversity,all affiliated universities in India have been notified by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to register themselves online with the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiment on Animals (CPCSEA).

CPCSEA, a statutory body of the ministry of environment which was established for the prevention of cruelty to animals, has set up an official website (http://cpcsea.nic.in) developed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. In an official circular, UGC has requested universities across India running undergraduate and postgraduate zoology and life sciences courses to register online with the committee to ensure that the guidelines for experimentation on animals are followed diligently. The official circular from UGC said that necessary instructions to be followed may also be issued to the colleges in this regard.

In the year 2011, a partial ban notice to the all the universities was issued by the UGC, following a complete ban on dissection of animals that was announced on discussions with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India in August 2014. According to a press release, the ban is set to save the lives of an  estimated 19 million animals every year.

The universities have been asked to consider this circular as most urgent. Jaspal Singh Sandhu, secretary of UGC has also urged VCs of colleges to send an ‘action taken report’ to UGC by 30 July 2015. Affiliated universities can visit  http://envfor.nic.in/division/committee-purpose-control-and-supervision-experiments-animals-cpcsea and understand the procedure to register online with CPCSEA.

About 1544 educational institutions and research units have registered with the CPCSEA . The directives given by the UGC with the objective of stopping cruelty to animals in higher education institutions is a well informed decision in the wake of repeated complaints received lately on account of non-compliance. This latest action will pave the way for improved educational system in India by adopting non-animal methods of teaching as a better alternative.

According to a press release from PETA “Studies show that exposing students to animal dissection can traumatize them, foster insensitivity toward animals, and even dissuade some from pursuing careers in science”.

Image courtesy: petaindia.com

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