For Immediate Release:
June 30, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Islamabad – After PETA sent urgent letters to the Pakistan Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, among other institutions, calling on it to ban harmful and medically unnecessary veterinary training exercises on animals and directly communicated these recommendations as well as broader animal testing concerns to Salman Sufi, head of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s Strategic Reforms Unit, he agreed to initiate discussions with the group on relevant reforms. Today, Sufi announced historic new measures, stating, “Live testing of animals in vet colleges and industrial complexes is banned from today in Islamabad Capital Territory.”
The new measures will reportedly ban testing and surgeries on live animals at veterinary schools and industrial complexes in the federal capital of Pakistan and implement a fine of Rs 15,000 ($73) and a jail term for offenders convicted of cruelty to animals. Sufi also announced amendments for the creation of Pakistan’s first comprehensive animal welfare law, which will be introduced in the National Assembly for debate and approval during the next session, and PETA will share recommendations with him in an upcoming scheduled meeting.
The groundbreaking move follows public outrage over videos posted to social media depicting local veterinary students operating on live, suffering dogs they reportedly kidnapped from the streets. PETA also sent letters to the three universities involved—Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi; Riphah College of Veterinary Sciences, Lahore campus; and COMSATS University, Lahore campus—offering to help them adopt realistic simulation models for basic skills training instead.
“Pakistan’s landmark reforms will ban tests and surgeries on live animals for veterinary education and shift to sophisticated, humane methods,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is delighted to have shared recommendations for improving veterinary training with Salman Sufi, and we look forward to our upcoming meeting with him to discuss further critical reforms in biomedical research and training that will both spare animals’ lives and benefit patients.”
PETA notes the growing global shift toward animal-free training methods and research. After discussions with PETA India, the Medical Council of India prohibited the use of animals in undergraduate medical curricula. Following discussions with PETA U.K. and PETA Germany, the European Parliament recently passed a resolution calling on the European Commission to create an action plan to end all experiments on animals. And prominent medical associations have worked with PETA to express support for the group’s Research Modernization Deal—a commonsense plan to phase out ineffective animal tests.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or click here.