Following HT's coverage of rampant abuse of animals at the nation's premier medical facility, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss directed his ministry to look into reports of cruelty to animals used for research at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). HT first reported the issue (Caged to Die,October 6, 2008).
In a reply to a letter from former health minister Shatrughan Sinha on behalf of the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Ramadoss replied on January 16, “Concerned official being asked to look into the matter for appropriate action."
In a letter dated December 1, 2008, Sinha had written: "Health concerns can never justify the sort of cruelty to animals recently found at AIIMS. I appeal to you please do kindly consider immediately rectificatory action." Copies of both letters are with HT.
Using animals for medical research and testing drugs is allowed in India but the law clearly lays down rules to protect animals from abuse.
Video shots of the facility revealed rabbits with infectious skin diseases, many turning blind from abuse. Several guinea pigs and rats were also blinded from untreated eye wounds.