Nature India | Indigenus

Disect no more

Lab animalGood news for all school and college students who complained that killing an animal to understand the nitty gritties of its internal systems is not a great idea. I’ve heard stories of repulsion from many biology students who don’t want to enter zoology laboratories despite their love for the subject. I’ve also known young people who have opted out of biology in high school just so that they don’t have to carry a dissection box.

No longer. India’s University Grants Commission (UGC) is catching up with international norms to announce that it will replace dissection of animals in the lab with computer simulation and models. The announcement comes after increasing pressure from animal welfare bodies pushing for India to embrace global practices in this regard.

A section of biologists, traditionally opposed to the idea, remain opposed to this change saying there’s no way you can become a zoologist without ever touching animals with your hands. It is also not a great plan for students wanting to pursue surgery in later life, they emphasise.

A piece in Nature this week explores the pros and cons of the announcement likely to take effect soon.

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