Animal Experimentation in India

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Animal Defenders International National Anti-Vivisection Society Animal Experimentation in India Unfettered science: How lack of accountability and control has led to animal abuse and poor science The
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Animal Defenders International National Anti-Vivisection Society Animal Experimentation in India Unfettered science: How lack of accountability and control has led to animal abuse and poor science The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Vivisection is the blackest of all the black crimes that man is at present committing against God and His fair creation. It ill becomes us to invoke in our daily prayers the blessings of God, the Compassionate, if we in turn will not practise elementary compassion towards our fellow creatures. And, I abhor vivisection with my whole soul. All the scientific discoveries stained with the innocent blood I count as of no consequence. Mahatma Gandhi Thanks With thanks to Maneka Gandhi and the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) of India for their report on the use of animals in laboratories, which has been used for this critique of the state of scientific and medical research in India. Animal Defenders International and the National Anti-Vivisection Society UK fully support and encourage the efforts of the members of India s CPCSEA to enforce standards and controls over the use of animals in laboratories in India, and their recommendation that facilities and practices in India s research laboratories be brought up to international standards of good laboratory practice, good animal welfare, and good science. Contributors Jan Creamer Tim Phillips Chris Brock Robert Martin 2003 Animal Defenders International & National Anti-Vivisection Society ISBN: Animal Defenders International 261 Goldhawk Road, London W12 9PE, UK tel. +44 (0) fax. +44 (0) Animal Experimentation in India ADI 2003 introduction Introduction There are extreme examples of bad animal husbandry and laboratory practice in CPCSEA s study. However, other aspects of the findings represent common problems in the world s laboratories such as this small, bare monkey cage at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Animal Defenders International (ADI) and the National Anti-Vivisection Society UK (NAVS), have been presented with a substantial dossier of animal suffering by Maneka Gandhi, former chair of India s Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA). In this report, ADI/NAVS discuss the evidence gathered by the CPCSEAduring the course of their inspections of 467 laboratories in India, which paints a horrifying picture of the state of research inside India s animal experimentation facilities: substandard and unhygienic conditions, sick and dying animals and appalling animal suffering, as well as poor science. In addition we have reviewed the international scientific literature for research papers from India, and provided a critique of this work; we have also examined CPCSEA s evidence in light of legal controls and laboratory practice in other countries. We find that there are key faults in the governance of the animal research industry in India: there is no proper critical review of proposals to use animals in experiments; there are no management structures in place to deliver full accountability and legal compliance; no adherence to animal welfare policies; no requirement to seek to use the sophisticated non-animal techniques which are now available, prior to making the decision to use animals. Our conclusion is that literally years of scientific research in India has been invalidated by poor scientific procedure, poor laboratory practice and lack of appropriate animal care. A number of laboratories mentioned in CPCSEA s report were selected for examination here:- All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi Bengal Chemicals, Kolkata Bombay Veterinary College, Parel, Mumbai Delhi University, College of Pharmacy Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd., Pune Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar Jai Research Foundation, Ahmedabad Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Kakatiya University, Warangal King Institute of Preventive Medicine, Chennai Marathawada University, College of Veterinary Sciences Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi National Institute of Virology, Pune Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi Vaccine Institute, Vadodara Vins Bioproducts Ltd., Hyderabad Dr S. Chinny Krishna, Vice Chair of the Animal Welfare Board and CPCSEAnominee notes:...out of the 467 laboratories which have so far been inspected by various nominees, it has been found that more than 400 of such laboratories do not have even basic facilities for proper housing of animals which are under their charge 1. The CPCSEAwas formed in 1964, but soon lapsed into inactivity. In February 1991 the CPCSEAwas re-constituted under an industry chair, Dr A.S. Paintal, Director General of the Indian Council for Medical Research. However, the Committee again apparently failed to address any of the very clear problems within India s animal experimentation community. In February 1996 a new CPCSEAwas constituted, chaired by Maneka Gandhi (at that time a Member of Parliament). The revitalised CPCSEAintroduced a raft of regulations in an attempt to regulate the ADI 2003 Animal Experimentation in India 3 introduction industry and commenced an inspection programme to assess science and animal welfare conditions in nearly 500 laboratories 1. This report is a shocking indictment of animal experimentation in India, but also an indictment of the international research community which is prepared to publish papers from laboratories with such poor practices, and has failed to take action to address the clear welfare problems which have compromised the entire scientific output of a whole country. Who decides our future? There is a vociferous lobby within the international scientific community committed to resist accountability and control. This is most notably demonstrated in the fields of genetic modification (GM) and animal experimentation where there is, understandably, enormous public concern and a demand for restrictions, regulation, accountability, and public access to information. A story in the British Medical Journal about CPCSEA s attempts to control animal experimentation in India illustrates the typical response from the scientific community: Scientists accuse animal rights activists of stifling research 2. In May 2002, British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed The Royal Society in a speech entitled Science Matters. He stated: The idea of making this speech has been in my mind for some time. The final prompt for it came, curiously enough, when I was in Bangalore in January. I met a group of academics, who were also in business in the biotech field. They said to me bluntly: Europe has gone soft on science; we are going to leapfrog you and you will miss out. They regarded the debate on GM here and elsewhere in Europe as utterly astonishing. They saw us as completely overrun by protestors and pressure groups who used emotion to drive out reason. And they didn't think we had the political will to stand up for proper science 3. There is little evidence of this, indeed as Mr Blair himself noted: By any measure, our record is outstanding. With 1% of the world's population, we fund 4.5% of the world's science, produce 8% of the scientific papers and receive 9% of the citations 3. Considering the risks posed to humans, other animals, and the environment by unfettered scientific and medical research, this was an extraordinary statement for a Prime Minister to make. Already, new diseases have been created in laboratories through cross-species transmission. Many doctors are concerned about the risks posed to the human population from pig viruses, should animal to human transplantation programmes continue. Concerns about biodiversity and environmental damage from genetically engineered plants, animals and viruses are issues not only for the scientists creating these products, but for farmers, and the whole community. It is vital that decisions about the direction of science are made within the context of full public awareness and consent this is not something to be left to those with a vested interest in maintaining their freedom to do whatever they wish. Unfortunately, there is tendency to sweep aside critical views of the scientific community as simply anti-science. This is as wrong as thinking that unfettered research will automatically lead to progress and good science. The evidence presented here from India reveals dramatically the failure of self-regulation in terms of animal protection, it also shows that uncontrolled and unaccountable science is ultimately bad science. Animal Defenders International and National Anti-Vivisection Society UK are not anti-science, we are against animal experiments. We are in favour of well thought-out, intelligent and properly designed science which is ethically based and works within the context of human society. The majority of research does not use animals anyway, and we believe that science and medical research would be better served if it concentrated on our own species, rather than using the results of experiments on other species. This report on the state of India s animal research industry brings shame on India s scientific community, and raises important questions about the role of the international research community, science journals, and international funding bodies (including governments). 1. S. Chinny Krishna, Not a Maneka creation History of the CPCSEA, Manushi, no 132, BMJ, p1192 vol. 325, Animal Experimentation in India ADI 2003 summary of findings Haffkine Corp., Mumbai: Conscious sheep held down whilst a hole is drilled into the skull vaccine production. Kakatiya University, Warangal: Rabbit under experimentation, showing multiple injuries. National Institute of Virology, Pune: Monkey in a filthy, barren cage; the room had no light fittings, nor cooling fans. King Institute, Chennai: Pony suffering from a severe skin infection (subsequently rehabilitated by the CPCSEA). Summary of findings The findings of India s Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) show a deplorable standard of animal care in the majority of facilities inspected. Such appaling conditions have not only caused inexcusable levels of animal suffering, but have also undermined any pretensions that the research was conducted scientifically, and that the results were reliable. The findings include:- Use of animals without health orgenetic background knowledge (including strays street dogs). Animals living in filthy, unhygienic conditions. Experiments being performed in similarunhygienic conditions. Sick and injured animals left unattended, and animals denied post-operative care. This included animals which had been blinded, severely mutilated, orwith open wounds. Some institutions had been without a veterinary official in attendance foryears. Rats and mice infected with disease, and infested with mites and tapeworms. Horses with theirhooves infested with maggots. Rats being blinded during orbital bleed procedures. Hot irons used to brand horses. Inadequate and often wholly unsuitable facilities, e.g. lacking in appropriate ventilation oreven a water supply. ADI 2003 Animal Experimentation in India 5 summary of findings A lack of consistency of standards between the facilities, ranging from derelict buildings being used to house experimental cattle, to a variety of rusting cages forotheranimals. Animals severely restricted in theirmovements, and overcrowded in small, dirty cages. Animals self-mutilating and performing abnormal, repetitive & stereotypic behaviours. Inadequate provision of food and water. Brutal procedures such as drilling holes in the skulls of conscious sheep and then injecting rabies virus into the brain fora discredited vaccine. Placing live and conscious frogs in refrigerators, in orderto freeze them. Failure to identify orutilise non-animal methods when they are available. The CPCSEAguidelines state: The CPCSEA requires that genetically defined animals should be lawfully obtained from breeders; that experimental animals should be kept in standardised, hygienic experimental conditions during and post surgery to maximise reliable and reproducible data from experiments... The UK government Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Used in Scientific Procedures outlines the regulations for the use of animals. This states: In scientific work involving living animals, the most reliable results are likely to be obtained by using healthy animals that are well adapted to their housing conditions and, in quantitative assays or comparisons, precision is increased if those animals are uniform. This is reiterated in the UK government s Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals in Designated Breeding and Supplying Establishments, which states that: Healthy animals are a prerequisite both for good animal welfare and for good science. Intercurrent infection in the animal population may call into question the validity of information obtained from scientific procedures and make interpretation of results difficult or even impossible. These policies are repeated frequently by the animal research community as a justification for self-regulation. Yet conditions in these Indian laboratories show the manifest failure of the vivisection industry to police itself uncontrolled, the industry is incapable of providing an acceptable standard of animal welfare and good science. Even more damning is that papers from these institutions have been accepted and published in international scientific journals when the appaling conditions in the facilities should have ensured the data was rejected as wholly unreliable. Above, left: AIIMS: CPCSEA report that this dog had been illegally taken from the street for this experiment because...the size of the dog makes it more convenient... Above, right: College of Pharmacy, Delhi University: Rat blinded after orbital bleeding. As often as twice a week a glass tube is pushed behind the eye and twisted to puncture blood vessels. If proper care is not taken, the tube may actually pierce the eye itself and create infection, swelling and damage, or it may pass through the skull behind the eye into the brain. Blood may build up in the area behind the eye after puncture, creating pressure on the eye itself. The accumulation of blood may also damage other parts of the eye,, and can cause blindness. Also, the handler may put pressure on the eye itself to limit bleeding, and this can cause inflammation. In the UK, the procedure is said to be avoided unless the animal is unconscious and will never wake up. This procedures is unnecessary because there are clearly other ways of taking blood from animals. BVA/FRAME/RSPCA/UFAW joint working group on refinement. Removal of blood from laboratory animals and birds. Laboratory Animals 1993; 27: Animal Experimentation in India ADI 2003 Animal welfare and science Discussion about animal experimentation is generally focused on the purpose, and procedure involved in the actual experiments. When the procedure requires that an animal be either burnt, blinded, infected with disease, or given electric shocks, less attention is paid to conditions of animal husbandry or welfare. There are strong arguments to be made against animal experimentation on scientific and ethical grounds, and we address these later in this report. However in the case of this study of Indian animal laboratories, there are strong arguments to be made on purely welfare grounds just like animals on intensive (factory) farms, laboratory animals are kept in small impoverished environments. animal welfare & science Since laboratory animals are destined to spend their entire existence in impoverished environments (and for some this may be many years), the impact on the animal of animal management and husbandry must be considered. Moreover, overbreeding of animals in order to maintain supplies is common in many laboratories; studies have shown that this means that more than a third of the animals bred in laboratories are not used in experiments but killed because they are surplus to requirements. Others are reared and killed for their tissues. Evidence of the effect on animals of deprived environments in zoos and factory farms has instigated changes in the way zoo animals are kept, and even more dramatically, the banning of the battery cage for laying hens in Europe. The UK government s Farm Animal Welfare Council has developed the Five Freedoms strategy as a means of assessing animal welfare in captive situations:- (1) Freedom from hungerand thirst ready access to water and a diet to maintain health and vigour. (2) Freedom from discomfort by providing a suitable environment. (3) Freedom from pain, injury and disease by prevention ortreatment. (4) Freedom from fearand distress by providing conditions which avoid mental suffering. (5) Freedom to express natural behaviour by providing sufficient space and adequate facilities. Using the Five Freedoms criteria enables identification of situations which compromise good animal welfare, that is, situations which cause fear, pain, discomfort, injury, disease, or behavioural distress. This policy has been adopted in many countries. Although by the very nature of animal research there is often an intention to cause pain, fear and distress to animals, this does not mean that laboratories are not duty bound to do their utmost to minimise these negative experiences. There is never any justification for not providing laboratory animals with the best animal care and welfare standards. Studies have shown animals in zoos performing abnormal, repetitive behaviours (stereotypic, or displacement behaviours) which have been brought about by their environment restrictions on movement, lack of stimulation, environmentally impoverished enclosures, herd animals kept in isolation, or alternatively overcrowding, and conditions which prevent the animals from performing their natural behavioural repertoire. Many of these abnormal behaviours have been noted in animals in other captive situations such as laboratories and factory farms. It is now widely accepted that the way animals are kept can cause suffering and damage to mental and physical College of Pharmacy, Delhi University: Rabbit in a small, barren cage, suffering from dermatitis. AIIMS, New Delhi: Monkey no This 27- year-old has spent 19 years in captivity. At the time of the photograph it was being used in an experiment to see whether 27 year old monkeys can have sex and reproduce. The need for this experiment should be questioned. It is inconceivable that the way this animal has been kept, will not have a dramatic impact on any research conclusions. health, and that it is is not enough to provide the bare minimum in order to merely keep them alive. Animals deserve a reasonable quality of life. ADI 2003 Animal Experimentation in India 7 animal welfare & science AIIMS: A line of monkeys in small, old, rusting cages, with no stimulation for the animals. CPCSEA also report that the animals had no water. Such neglect of animals is both cruel and unprofessional; it is not without consequences to the science. However what may be more compelling to the animal researcher, is that biochemical changes in animals caused by stress and environment (animal housing) have been shown to have a clear impact on experimental results. In 1958 W. Lane-Petter noted in New Scientist, It has been said that animals are to the experimental biologist what chemical reagents are to the chemist. Chemicals can for the most part be stored on the shelf, but animals grow and alter in the course of their environment 1. Trevor Poole, of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, wrote in Laboratory Animals in 1996, To ensure good science, the animal should have a normal physiology and behavio
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