The University Grants Commission (UGC) after hesitating for years has finally decided to stop animal dissection for academic purposes. The body has instructed all the undergraduate and post-graduate colleges to stop dissection of animals for teaching students. Experimentation and dissection of any species of animals for life sciences courses are banned and could not be carried out either by teachers or the students in any academic campus.
The partial ban in dissection of animals were issued way back in 2011, when UGC had issued certain guidelines to colleges and universities to follow when it came to dissecting a particular species of animal. But there were certain loop holes and rebuffs that made the ban ineffective. Under the steep pressure from animal activists, UGC has to finally buckle down and accept their demands for complete ban on dissection of animals. Earlier the teachers were allowed to dissect and students used to watch to learn from it in Undergraduate courses.
The postgraduate students had the permission to dissect unprotected species for fulfilling their curriculum. With indiscriminate removal of these animals from their habitat, the biodiversity and ecology of the environment was getting disturbed and many species of animals were alarmingly coming towards extinction.
The UGC has notified the colleges to think for alternatives of dissection and use models, charts and simulation instead. The colleges are also asked to revamp their academic curriculum and introduce technology as an alternative for dissection. It has also called for an animal ethics chapter to be included in the courses to sensitize students about animals.
As finding the animals have also become very difficult it would be easier for the colleges to opt for digital methods to teach students about the anatomy of various animals. This could stop the illegal procurement of animals as well and save countless number of rare species of animals.
The UGC has also asked to constitute Dissection Monitoring Committees in all the institutions providing higher education, who would keep an eye on the use of animals for research. It has become mandatory for these institutions to maintain appropriate record of procurement of the animals and use of anesthesia and other medication to them.