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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Beagle pups illegally imported from China for conducting experiments

MOEF to issue showcause notice to Bangalore-based toxicology firm

Union Ministry of Environment and Forest on Saturday said that it will issue showcause notice to a Bangalore-based research firm that illegally imported more than 400 Chinese beagle puppies to Chennai airport for research two years after the experiment got over.
Addressing a press conference Union Environment and Forest Minister Jyanthi Natrajan said that the pharmaceutical lab Advinus in Bangalore had sought permission to import 434 beagle puppies for conducting experiments contracted for a US based firm.
Surprisingly, it was the sixth consignment of 70 puppies which arrived on October had PETA officials and vice chairman of Animal Welfare Board of India Dr Chinny Krishnan interested.
The documents showed that the puppies, which were four to nine-months old, were imported via Cathay Pacific airlines as pet sparked curiosity and the officials later found that it was for conducting toxicology experiments  for a US based firm.
Interestingly, the Bangalore based lab has already conducted the experiments for which the puppies were sought by using 270 dogs in 2010.
Natrajan said that the ministry wanted to know the fate of the remaining puppies. “The experiment is already over so we wanted to know what were they going to do with the 434 puppies. Although we don’t know the fate of the earlier batch of puppies which were being imported from last year, we are curious about the fate of 70 puppies,” said the minister, who visited the Animal Quarantine Department and Certification Station here.
She said her ministry is going to issue a showcause notice to Advinus labs and added that the issue will be discussed by Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experimentation on Animals (CPCSEA) on Monday to take necessary action.
Any research is welcome in India but it should follow the strict guidelines. “India follows ahimsa doctrine and voiceless animals should not be misused in name of conducting experiments,” the minister said.
She also said following this incident her ministry will make the new bill on Animal Welfare Act more stringent. Currently, there are 1,600 registered labs in India and the minister feels many a times animals are being imported into India illegally for research purpose.

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