Zoologists hail UGC ban on dissection of animals

Senior zoologists here have welcomed the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) ban on dissection and animal experimentation in zoology, life sciences, and allied sciences in undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

In its August 1 notification sent to the universities on August 5, the UGC asked universities and colleges to go for modern tools to provide hands-on-experience to students.

The commission said the objective was to “…prevent disruption of bio-diversity and maintaining the ecological balance with the acquisition of appropriate alternative technology in place of animal experimentation and to develop competent skilled human resources…”

It said “…no animal from any species shall be dissected, either by teachers or students for any purposes. The teachers shall demonstrate one or more aspects of anatomy to students with the help of digital alternatives, models and charts…”

The notification said that for research, the use of animals procured from the laboratory and bred sources were allowed, subject to the approval of Committee for Purpose of Care and Supervision of Experimental Animals and Institutional Animal Ethics Committee.

Sudhakar Rao, a retired professor of zoology from Poornaprajna College, Udupi, and author of textbooks on zoology, said dissection of animals was an outdated concept now. The ban on them would not affect teaching of zoology in colleges and universities.

N.A. Madhyastha, a former professor of zoology and the Union government’s nominee in Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, said as only a few went for research after postgraduation, killing of animals for academic purpose in colleges and universities was not needed.

Mr. Madhyastha said computer simulations could be used for teaching dissection. He said the skill of dissecting animals was not needed for students of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. It was required only for researchers at the advanced level. However, S. Hareesh Joshy, former head, Department of Zoology, St. Aloysius College, said he did not support the total ban. Except frog, permission should be given to dissect cockroach, fish, mouse, and grass hoper. Otherwise, students would not acquire skills. “It will remain like an illusion to them,” he added.

  • Universities and colleges told to go for modern tools to provide hands-on-experience to students

‘The skill of dissecting animals is not needed for undergraduate and postgraduate students’

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 10:52:54 AM |

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