The Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) urged the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to end the use of dogs in regulatory testing following new scientific evidence from the BUAV and People For Animals. CPCSEA which regulates the use of animals in experiments in India, has urged Dr G N Singh who is the DCGI to examine the country’s use of dogs in regulatory testing and consider switching to humane alternative approaches instead.
The move has come after Dr Shiranee Pereira Tettamanti of People For Animals placed a proposal before the committee in 2013 to consider a ban on the use of dogs in research. This was followed by a presentation from Michelle Thew, chief executive of the BUAV and Cruelty Free International, on the results of a ground-breaking new analysis carried out by the BUAV, in conjunction with FRAME, which shows that using dogs in experiments to predict toxic responses in humans is not scientifically justifiable.
In a letter to Dr Singh, the CPSCSEA acknowledges the paper and stated, “It appears that the dog test provides essentially no additional confidence in the outcome for humans, but is at great ethical and financial cost. Thus we hope that the DCGI will look into the matter and consider the use of other alternatives.”
People for Animals India, the BUAV and Cruelty Free International have been working with the CPCSEA on the issue since 2013. The news comes on the day of a meeting between the Drug Controller General and founder and chairperson of People For Animals, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi. It is understood that Gandhi will be reiterating the committee’s call to end the use of dogs in experiments in India.
Michelle Thew, chief executive of the BUAV and Cruelty Free International said, “The CPCSEA decision to push for alternative approaches instead of the use of dogs in cruel experiments is a hugely significant milestone. We have always known that using dogs in research is ethically unacceptable, and our ground-breaking research provides proven evidence that it is not scientifically justifiable either. I congratulate the CPCSEA for having the vision to recognise and act on this and I call on regulators around the world to follow their lead and end the use of dogs in research.”
Dr Shiranee Tettamanti, co-founder of People for Animals (Chennai) added, “Dogs are our companion animals and it is heartening that the CPCSEA has taken this giant step forward to promote science that rests on scientific reason and ethical values. This decision is not just a milestone for the welfare of animals in laboratories where dogs have been recognised as companion animals, but a milestone wherein a nation has recognised the need to promote humane science. I urge the Drug Controller of India to back these scientific findings and the recommendations of the CPCSEA so that India leads the world by becoming the first country to end the use of dogs in regulatory testing.”