Indian Government Lab Stops Experiments On Monkeys, Agrees To Animal Welfare Improvements Following Pressure From PETA India And Affiliates

For Immediate Release:
17 June 2011

Sandra Smiley +44 (0)207 357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

London – Following a nearly three-year campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and its affiliates, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has signed up to make significant improvements in the care of animals at its Central Animal Facility in New Delhi. PETA affiliates appealed to AIIMS to both retire aging monkeys who have been subjected to cruelty and abysmal living conditions for many years, and to improve living conditions for all the animals imprisoned there. PETA UK supporters staged protests at the Indian High Commission in London to urge ministers to take action against the cruelty.

AIIMS has agreed to cease all experiments on monkeys and sheep until additional improvements are made, has sent six monkeys to an animal shelter and has designated additional monkeys for rehabilitation, and has relocated other monkeys from small cages, in which they were typically kept alone, to more spacious runs where they may be housed in groups. Additionally, AIIMS has agreed to work with PETA India to make further improvements in animal welfare. PETA India is pushing AIIMS to explore modern alternatives to experimentation on animals.

“We are pleased to be at this new stage in our campaign and sincerely hope that AIIMS’ positive actions are the beginning of a continued effort to improve conditions for these animals, who have suffered terribly”, says PETA India’s Dr Manilal Valliyate. “In addition to being cruel, experiments on animals are irrelevant to human health. PETA India’s US affiliate’s scientists stand ready to help advise AIIMS on replacing outdated animal tests with effective, non-animal methods just as they have advised a number of US-based multi-national corporations in doing so.”

Undercover video footage taken inside AIIMS’ Central Animal Facility in 2008 revealed that many monkeys were isolated in tiny, barren, rusted cages. Sick and injured animals, including rabbits who suffered from an infectious skin disease and wounded guinea pigs and rats, were left untreated. Many rats and monkeys turned in endless circles, driven insane by laboratory conditions.

The campaign received an outpouring of support from high-profile notables around the world, including Pamela Anderson, Cyrus Broacha, Celina Jaitly and former Indian Health Minister Shatrughan Sinha