Tuesday, July 25, 2006

IIS dumps monkeys after experiments

The Indian Institute of Science has been accused of releasing 20 experimented monkeys into the forest without proper clearances.

Three of the monkeys have been rescued by a wildlife NGO who now say they are going to take serious action against the institute.

The monkeys have spent most of their lives in a research lab. But they were among 20 lab monkeys released by the Institute into the Sathanur forest more than two weeks ago.

The monkeys were left to fend for themselves. Only three were found by an animal welfare group which accuses the institute of violating rules by releasing lab animals into the wild before they are ready.

"According to the rules they need to pay a particular NGO for life time care of these monkeys and they found a way out of releasing them into the forests," said Sharat Babu, Senior Manager, People For Animals.

"Most probably their primate research laboratory will have to wind up and they will not conduct future experiments," Sharat added.

The institute could lose its animal research license for ignoring the rehabilitation guidelines of the central Committee for the purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiment on Animals.

Even members of the Institute's own ethics committee agree that norms were not followed.

"Animals that have lived for anywhere between 4-12 years in unnatural surroundings cannot be ejected and thrown into a forest environment over night," said Suparna Ganguly, Member, Institutional Animal Ethics Committee.

"There is need for a rehab period and to wash off all the unnatural living that a lab climate imposes on these animals and then maybe if possible to get them to the wild," added Ganguly.

The institute officials said in a press statement that the release of the animals was made under supervision of forest officials, veterinary officer and a technical officer of the institute.

However, this has failed to convince experts who believe there has been a serious violation.

Story here.

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