Experimental animal’s alternatives- Are they available in the Academic institutes

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Should animals be used as research subjects?
Absolutely No Animal Research – Why ?

Animals have rights! Animals surely deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation. Animals are not ours to: eat, wear, experiment on use for entertainment, abuse.

A Historical Prospective on the Animal Welfare Regulations
1965 (July) – Stolen Pets,1966 (Feb) – LIFE magazine article, 1981 – Silver Spring Monkey Incident, 1983 – PA University head injury study, in response to this, Resnick introduces bill to congress, Lab Animal Welfare Act signed into law, 1985 – revisions to the AWA (IACUC) and the Health Research Extension Act signed into law respectively.

Animal Welfare Act
A series of laws regulating animal use activities. The enforcing body of the animal welfare act is the United States Department of Agriculture. Violation of the Act is punishable under federal law and could lead to research program suspensions, fines and/or imprisonment.

Animals are still being used (often unnecessarily). The evidence is that alternatives: are cost effective providing lab skills are not primary learning objectives,are acceptable to students if they are well integrated into a course, can reduce animal use whilst achieving many learning objectives Teachers should: audit their courses and define teaching objectives more clearly, justify inclusion of animal labs and use alternatives where possible to have an impact on animal use. Teachers’ level of awareness must be increased - they need a rich information. To use them successfully teachers must develop their own support materials.

Teaching better Experimental Design - Refinement of practice
Highly interactive CAL program - Festing , Dewhurst & Broadhead 2000.
–        Choosing an appropriate model
–        understanding the ‘experimental unit’
–        eliminating bias
–        using valid statistical methods
–        improving precision
–        increasing range of applicability

What sort of tasks/activities? May be individual or group centred

*        Record and Measure - test accuracy of measurements

*        Data Analysis

*        Data Interpretation Skills

If we are to encourage teachers to reduce the number of animals they use they must first be made aware of what alternatives exist. There are several databases and a new project which is being launched at several meetings aim to take this a stage further. The EURCA project aims to pro-actively encourage teachers to use an alternative wherever possible for good educational reasons. The database therefore provides much more than the basic program description, but in India the meetings were going on they were concluding them without planning various methods or approaches to stop irrational usage of experimental animals by the undergraduate academics.

The current rules, decided in April, 2000, are that IAECs can allow experiments only on small laboratorybred animals—guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, mice, hamsters, and invertebrates. For all other animals, permission must be sought from a subcommittee of the CPCSEA, consisting of P K Dave, Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences; O P Asthana of the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow; and Vasantha Muthaswamy, Deputy director general, Indian Council of Medical Research (Animal Users All). To speed permission, CPCSEA nominees contact subcommittee members as early as possible by fax, e-mail, and so on, and communicate the decisions quickly. Appeals can be made to the CPCSEA if organisations disagree with the decision or if the proposal is refused by the CPCSEA nominee on their IAEC.

Discussion
Till now no university or no academic institute is taking care to supply alternatives to experimental animal methods. It’s not the meetings which just stops irrational animal killing, but providing the professors with alternatives to make their students expertise in animal related pharmacological experiments. It is the responsibility of the animal committee heads to verify whether the meeting points were under application in the institutes are not, they should provide the software for animal experiments in academic institutes by tie up with the particular universities and government and they should go forward in the real meaning of Stop The Irrational Sacrifice Of Experimental Animals

Article by,
SANDHYA SREE.M

ASST. PROFESSOR
NNRES SCHOOL OF PHARMACY

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