After dithering for years, the University Grants Commission has finally buckled under pressure from activists to ban dissection of animals for academic purposes at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels on college campuses.
In a new notification, the apex body has asked colleges and universities to stop dissection and experimentation on animals for life sciences courses. "No animal from any species shall be dissected, either by teachers or students for any purpose," read the notification.
The UGC's decision is an improvement on the partial ban on dissection it issued in 2011. "Those were just guidelines, which had several loopholes," said Dr Chaitanya Koduri, science policy advisor for People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), India. Peta had taken part in the UGC deliberations pushing for a ban. "In the previous guidelines, teachers were allowed to dissect as students watched, while post-graduate students were allowed to dissect unprotected species," he said.