Computers to the rescue
A computer software that demonstrates animal dissections will soon help save the lives of countless animals. Once the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) completes its project for the computer dissection of frogs, these animals need not be killed in school and college laboratories. Similar software programmes for other animals commonly used in the laboratory, such as rodents and insects, will also be developed.
Says AWBI chairperson A K Chatterjee, "Our priority would be to cover schools and colleges in Gujarat." The dissection of live animals in the state has been stayed by the High Court, following an appeal by voluntary groups.
The project is part of a growing movement in the country to control research on animals. The Union government has constituted a committee to monitor research on animals by chemicals, cosmetics and drug companies. Besides, the ministry of environment and forests recently wrote to leading scientists saying they had received many complaints of excessive use of animals for repetitive experiments and unnecessary cruelty to them.