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MCI likely to ban animal dissection at post-grad level too (April)

After banning dissection of animals in undergraduate medical curriculum, the Medical Council of India (MCI) is likely to make similar recommendations soon for post-graduate education too as directed by the Environment Ministry. Sources in the MCI said that the education regulator has recently amended regulations to call for the use of modern non-animal teaching methods such as computer assisted modules in the medical colleges for teaching Physiology and Pharmacology, as per recent notification.Presently, medical students frequently use live mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits and frogs for training purpose.


However, the new notification encourages usages of computer Assisted Learning modules/ simulators/videographs which are already available in the market. “This is a tremendous victory for animals who will no longer be killed to teach medical students when humane, non-animal teaching methods have proved to be superior”, said PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr Chaitanya Koduri.


“PETA commends the Medical Council of India for modernising its teaching policies by no longer forcing students to be complicit in the painful deaths of animals,” he added.Koduri said that PETA is working with the MCI to make similar recommendations for post-graduate education in order to comply with Environment Ministry guidelines. In 2012, the Environment Ministry had advised the MCI to replace the use of animals in teaching with modern non-animal tools, such as simulation software, for both graduate and post-graduate medical students.According to Koduri, nearly 95 per cent of medical schools in North America - including Yale, Harvard and Stanford - do not use any animals to train medical students, and experience with animal dissection or experimentation on live animals is not required or expected of those applying to medical school. In 2011, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had issued guidelines to phase out dissection of and experimentation on live animals in zoology and life science courses.


Pioneer, Delhi, Friday 25th April 2014