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April 20, 2012

Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States Applaud Major Reduction in Animal Experimentation in India

Humane Society International

Delhi — Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States welcome a decision by India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests to require the use of modern, non-animal tools in place of dissections and live animal experiments for biomedical education and research, with the exception of new molecular research. The new policy applies to all universities, colleges and other research and teaching institutes throughout India and has the potential to save large numbers of animals each year.

“India provides a shining example that the rest of the world should follow,” said Andrew Rowan, president and CEO of Humane Society International and chief scientific officer for The HSUS. “The future of science doesn’t involve harm to animals and this is a significant step toward replacing animals in experimentation across the globe.”

While it is not yet entirely clear how the new policy will be implemented, the new guidelines are based on India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and urges replacement of animals with computer simulations and other available alternatives. The ban comes on the heels of much work led by Maneka Gandhi and other Indian scientists and humane leaders, without whom this outstanding achievement would not have been possible. India’s efforts are placing them on a path to leadership in replacing animals in experiments.

The use of animals for dissection and other experiments can cause widespread suffering and death to tens of millions of frogs, fish, rats and other animals every year, many of whom are not even counted in national animal use statistics.

HSI and HSUS are calling on national governments around the globe to follow India’s lead by legally requiring the use of non-animal research, testing and educational tools where available, and increasing the amount of research funding dedicated to the further development of these tools.

Media Contacts:

HSI/Canada: Dean Pogas, 514.395.2914, dpogas@hsi.org

HSI: Wendy Higgins, +44 (0)7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org

HSUS: Anna West, 240-751-2669, awest@humanesociety.org

Notes to Editors:

Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — on the Web at hsi.org/becrueltyfree.

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