CHENNAI: On October 5, the Committee for Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CCSEA) in India, released a circular indicating that the directive recommending the use of stray dogs in experiments and vaccine trials has been suspended until further notice.
This action was taken in response to concerns voiced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, who raised questions about the scientific and ethical consequences of utilising stray dogs in research. The decision to retract the order implies that there will be a reassessment or reevaluation of the practice of employing stray dogs in experiments, with the aim of addressing the issues raised by PETA India and examining the scientific and ethical aspects of such research.
The CCSEA recommended in September 2022 that stray dogs could be used in upcoming vaccine trials and challenge studies, provided that the animals were quarantined and rehabilitated in accordance with CCSEA guidelines. Animal rights groups, PETA opposed this order and even wrote to CCSEA chairman, OP Chaudhary just two days after the order was issued, requesting that it be withdrawn.
PETA highlighted that the CCSEA’s recommendation went against its obligations under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Breeding of and Experiments on the Animals (Control and Supervision) Amendment Rules, 2006.
Furthermore, PETA India has argued that relying on stray dogs in tests cannot accurately predict human responses to vaccines, potentially leading to delays in the approval of effective treatments. The withdrawal of this recommendation represents a positive stride toward safeguarding animal welfare and fostering scientific progress.