Varsity plans to use computer simulators

In fact, the varsity has stopped using frogs, lizards and birds as much as possible following a hue and cry from animal activists regarding cruelty to animals in the name of research.

The UoM has constituted Animal Ethical Committee headed by the vice-chancellor and professor of Zoology, as per the directions of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Ecology, to reduce the usage of animals in both UG and PG levels. Recently, the government has sent a circular to all the universities to explore possibilities of using alternative methods in a bid to put an end to the practice of using live animals for the purpose of conducting experiments. The committee is working in this direction whether to adhere to the circular issued by the government.

However, it is interesting to note here that the UoM has initiated steps in this direction and instructed all its affiliated degree colleges against use of animals for experiments. In the wake of this, the UoM is planning to have computer simulator for teaching purpose which stops use of live animals and birds for experiment purpose.

UoM Vice-Chancellor Prof V G Talawar told Deccan Herald that the varsity has already got into action and referred the matter to the Animal Ethical Committee to look whether it is possible to impose a ban on the dissection of animals in post graduate level. The committee will also examine similar possibility in research level. The varsity will examine whatever the committee says in this direction. Prof H N Yajurvedi, PG Department of Zoology studies, UoM, who is also convener of the committee told this paper that the varsity has stopped using endangered birds and animals in laboratories. The dissection has substantially reduced in B.Sc and M.Sc courses. Each student used to dissect about 8-10 birds or animals in a year and now it has been brought down to one or two.

Besides, departments are strictly ordered to use rat, crab and cockroach for research purpose instead of frogs and birds. The committee is not giving permission to use frogs for experiment purpose. Iff it wants to use particular type of birds or animals, they have to write to the committee for permission. Then the committee will approve, only if it was necessary. In western countries, this rule is followed strictly. They will cross check whether animal or bird while preparing research paper and insists on proof from the committee concerned. The basic idea is to have humane approach towards animals too.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has sent circular to all varsities to get rid of dissection in a phased manner. Now, dissection has reduced to less than 15 per cent in post graduate level particularly in UoM. The laboratory bred animals are encouraged to use for various kinds of experiments.

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