After the European Parliament passed a monumental resolution that commits to phasing out animal experiments in pharmaceutical research, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to devise a similar action plan for India.
Last month the European Parliament voted in favour of framing an action plan to curb animal testing. Members of European Parliament (MEPs) supported a motion for a resolution to speed up the transition to innovation without using animals in research, regulatory testing, and education.
It is now in the hands of the European Commission to develop an action plan for the European Union. PETA India recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting to devise a similar action plan for India.
In the letter, the group shared its Research Modernisation Deal – a document that outlines the failure of studies on animals to lead to treatments and cures for humans and provides a comprehensive strategy to move away from the use of animals – similar to what PETA entities had presented to European leaders prior to the resolution’s near-unanimous passing.
PETA India notes that many monkeys, dogs, rats, and other animals are mutilated, burned, blinded, cut open, poisoned, and drugged in laboratories every year. Not only are these tests cruel, their results are also inapplicable to humans because of the vast physiological differences among species. Modern methods, such as in vitro and in silico tests, are reliable, human-relevant, and more cost-efficient than those involving animals.
“As the EU has demonstrated, phasing out animal tests is the future. It is crucial that India does not fall behind international developments in science and animal welfare,” stated PETA India Science Policy Advisor Dr Ankita Pandey.
“Moving away from unreliable and unethical tests on animals and instead investing in superior, non-animal methods will be better for humans, other animals, and the future of science,” Dr Pandey said.
In 2014 India banned testing cosmetics or their ingredients on animals as well as the importation of animal-tested cosmetics. In 2020, the Union health and family welfare ministry released the Cosmetics Rules 2020, containing provisions to ban the importation of animal-tested cosmetics.
Besides use of animals in cosmetics research, animals are also used in testing chemicals and drugs or for conducting biomedical research.
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