On the one hand while humans are selling themselves to take part in clinical trials for major drug companies humans are also using animals as lab rats. It becomes a big issue when clinical trials on humans fail, but nobody seems to care when animal experiments fail. There is an element of hypocrisy in this, said Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr. V.M. Katoch.
“Eventually, animal experimentation in laboratories has to be minimised. Animals cannot express themselves and persons in-charge of the experiment should take responsibility. Basic rights of animals have to be protected,” Dr. Katoch said during World Laboratory Animal Day celebrations at National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) on Tuesday.
Director of Animal Welfare Board of India, Anjani Kumar said that there was a need to stop experimenting with live animals in educational institutions. “We are putting a lot of effort to convince authorities to stop using live animals up to UG level,” he said.
Speakers also suggested use of new technologies to replace live animals in laboratories. “New technologies that can simulate animal experiments have come up in the US. Such technology can eliminate use of live animals in laboratories. There are instances of computers giving better results than live animals,” said founder of Blue Cross, Hyderabad, Amala Akkineni, while interacting with press persons.
She highlighted the need to regulate use of live animals for research in cosmetics. “There are stringent regulations over the use of live animals in cosmetic research in Western countries. That’s why such research is picking up in India,” she added. Eminent researchers in animal laboratory science were felicitated on the occasion.