BHUBANESWAR: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a notification to universities and colleges directing them to stop dissection and experimentation for Zoology and Life Sciences courses at undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) levels. The notification is an extension of its 2011 partial ban on dissection.
All institutions have been notified to avoid experiments on animals, for the purpose of acquiring skill, and not use animals protected under the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, particularly frogs and fish.
The UGC Chairman, Ved Prakash, had recently issued a letter asking the universities to ensure strict adherence to the WPA and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
In doing so, the university governing body wants students to use modern education tools such as computer models over animals.
While the Zoology Department of Utkal University has discontinued dissection and animal experimentation, several of its affiliated colleges continue to dissect animals at undergraduate level. Sources said the practice is prevalent in colleges under Berhampur, Sambalpur and Fakir Mohan universities. Many of the colleges are yet to constitute ‘dissection monitoring committees’ to look into the issue.
Basic Science College and College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry under Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) funded by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) too are yet to stop animal dissection.
OUAT VC Manoranjan Kar said OUAT has already written to both the institutions to follow the UGC guidelines in true spirit.
“We plan to modernise the Zoology and Life Sciences curriculum and make learning more exciting. We will replace dissection with other alternatives but dissection is part of the Zoology curriculum at undergraduate level. We also plan to share various videos on dissection with the freshers. In a way, it promotes digital learning,” he added.
On its part, the Utkal University has set up an animal ethics committee and a report is sent every year on the practical classes to UGC.