Friday, 11 July 2014

India Must Invest in Modern Humane Science, Not Animal Test Facilities

Humane Society International/India reacts to the new animal facility in Chennai

Chennai (09 July, 2014)–

Plans to build what is touted to be India’s largest housing facility for animals used in laboratory  experiments came under sharp criticism from Humane Society International/India. Alokparna Sengupta, HSI/India’s deputy director, said:
“It is deeply regrettable that even in the 21st century, India’s scientific community remains stuck in its old ideas of building animal research facilities. Testing pharmaceuticals and drugs on animals is notoriously poor-quality science, with the United States Federal Drug Administration acknowledging that nine out of every 10 drugs appearing safe or effective in animals will go on to fail in humans.

“Around the world these tests are being surpassed by state-of-the-art non-animal methods that are far better able to predict responses in people. Instead of wasting valuable funds on last century’s science, India should be investing in these cutting-edge alternatives, joining nations such as the United States, South Korea and the United Kingdom in building centers for non-animal research and better science.”

HSI/India, whose Be Cruelty-Free campaign played a central role in advancing India’s policy to ban animal testing for cosmetics, also is working with government and research institutions to promote non-animal methods for biomedical research and safety testing. Animal based research is fraught with uncertainty because biological and physiological differences between mice, rats, dogs and people can produce dangerously misleading results and delay medical progress. HSI believes science funding should be directed toward humane, non-animal alternatives rather than animal models.

India has demonstrated that it is a world leader in ending animal testing for cosmetics. HSI believes it is now time for the country to bring that same vision for pharmaceutical safety assessment. Earlier this year the Drug Controller General indicated[i] the need to modernize India’s pharmaceutical sector, and the Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research also urged the scientific community to seriously explore alternative test methods.

Watch HSI’s video 21st Century Science here.

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