New Delhi, June 4 : The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC), with the support of PETA India, is planning to make changes in the guidelines to prevent animals from being killed for redundant and lethal experiments.
In its draft, the IPC removed the "abnormal toxicity test" from vaccine monographs of the Indian Pharmacopoeia, the official compilation of approved tests for drugs manufactured and marketed in the country. However the changes are subject to final approval following a public consultation.
With the passing of the amendment, the IPC will remove the current mandatory requirement of assessing the possibility of batch contamination by conducting tests on guinea pigs and mice. In these tests, the animals are injected with a vaccine and if none of them die, the batch is deemed safe.
Animals which don't die during the experiment are killed afterwards. The removal of this test will spare the lives of thousands of animals every year.
PETA India said that in recent decades, regulators and manufacturers worldwide have recognised the lack of scientific value in continuing to use the abnormal toxicity test.
"Compliance with good manufacturing practices is superior to the use of animals for controlling and detecting batch contamination," the IPC stated.
In the IPC's seventh group meeting of experts last year, the proposal to remove the test was accepted, and upon the approval of the scientific body, the draft amendment was released for public input. PETA India had attended the meeting and supported the deletion of the test.
The IPC is an autonomous institution of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which sets standards for all drugs that are manufactured, sold and consumed in India, while PETA is an American animal rights organisation based in Virginia and its India wing is located in Mumbai.