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On an appeal from People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, Bhartiya Janta Party Member of Parliament and former Health Minister Shatrughan Sinha has written a letter to Medical Council of India urging a ban on all animal dissection and experimentation in the teaching of postgraduate medical courses in favour of using a superior or humane non-animal methods.
In the letter, Sinha suggests alternatives which include cost-efficient computer-assisted learning, clinical exercises, and human-patient simulation technologies - training techniques which are already used in top medical schools worldwide and can be implemented in India.
"Animal dissection is a vestige of a more cruel, less enlightened time before modern technology and teaching methods existed," writes Sinha.
In 2012, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change issued guidelines to the Medical Council of India, the Pharmacy Council of India, and the University Grants Commission to stop dissection and experimentation on animals entirely in the training of undergraduate and postgraduate students.
PETA India has also written to the current Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda, asking him to help ban the use of animals in postgraduate teaching.
"The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, requires non-animal training methods to be used when available and that the use of animals for teaching purposes in both undergraduate and graduate courses has already been ended by the University Grants Commission, the Pharmacy Council of India, and the Dental Council of India, said Peta
PETA India pointed out that medical schools in the United States and Canada have replaced the use of animals to train medical students with modern non-animal methods and its time for India to do the same.