After the University Grants Commission's (UGC) decision to stop dissection and experimentation on animals for training purposes for zoology and life sciences at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in all colleges and universities, zoologists from the University of Mumbai have planned to meet the commission chairman to appeal against its directive.
UGC's step was aimed at preventing disruption of biodiversity and maintaining ecological balance. But the MU zoologists, who feel that 'dissection' does amount to cruelty on animals, believe that it is necessary to allow dissection of pests and a few edible fishes to teach the subject to students, a daily has reported. The University of Mumbai and its affiliated colleges only dissect some widely-available fish species and not other animals and just for the academic purpose, it wants UGC to permit them to do at least this much.
Anil Singh, Convener of the Board responsible for curriculum revision for FYBSc, said that the new curriculum will stress on bio-diversity and conservation and that they have removed topics related to dissection of earthworms from the first-year syllabus. The dissection topics in subsequent years will be removed too.
A People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) statement said that the step was taken after numerous appeals to the UGC from PETA India and Union minister Maneka Gandhi to stop animal dissections and ensure compliance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in January 2012.