Monday, January 10, 2011

'Cruel' AIIMS Targeted - Naresh Kadyan

Animal rights activists including Menaka Gandhi, have demanded action against the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for cruelty to animals during tests. They have sought registration of FIRs against the errant doctors.
The People for Animals, headed by Gandhi, has complained to Delhi police Commissioner Y S Dadwal demanding FIRs against the doctors. The Organization for the Protection of Animals (OIPA) has also joined hands with PFA against the premier medical institution.

Official failure

According to OIPA, the Institutional Animals Ethics Committee (IAEC), constituted under the AIIMS administration, has failed to minimise the sufferings of laboratory animals kept in the animal house.
PETA has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking for an inspection of the facility and immediate rehabilitation of the animals "languishing" there for years.

RTI filed

OIPA has also demanded information regarding the animals through an RTI application filed with the AIIMS. It has raised questions on the number of animals housed in the animal house, the number of animals rehabilitated after completion of experiments and the types of experiments conducted.

According to OIPA, there are 68 monkeys, 90 rabbits, several sheep and an ever-multiplying number of guinea pigs and rats that are believed to be sick and dying in small cages at the AIIMS central animal facility.
Fifty of the 90 rabbits are suffering from an infectious skin disease, and several animals, including a few guinea pigs, have gone blind.

Litigation planned

Naresh Kadyan of OIPA told MiD DAY, "We have planned to move the court and are getting support from many international animal rights organisations. In a written complaint, we have asked the Delhi Police commissioner to look into the matter and to take required action. We want to rescue the animals and have sought explanation from the institute through an RTI application. AIIMS has flaunted many rules as monkeys can not be used for breeding and they have also not replaced the sick animals."

Rules in place

Using animals for medical research and testing drugs is permitted in India. But it is covered by well laid down rules to protect animals from abuse. According to the guidelines issued by the Committee for Purpose of Control and Supervision on Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, no animal should be used for experimentation for more than three years unless there is adequate justification.