The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is currently working with government officials in Pakistan to formulate and enforce reforms to protect animals and prevent their use in veterinary and medical training, for which it is keeping a close eye on issues on the ground in Pakistan.
It recently received a disturbing whistleblower report that students at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (CVAS), Jhang (a sub-campus of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore), and other veterinary colleges across Pakistan are using healthy, live cows and buffaloes in invasive and painful training exercises.
More than 100 students a day at the CVAS alone reportedly often forcefully use irritant solutions and rectally palpate cows and buffaloes. Furthermore, two students are said to have inserted their entire arms into the bovines, causing bleeding.
Students also reportedly use artificial insemination rods daily, which causes lacerations and bleeding. It was learned that after their internal organs have been damaged, the animals are auctioned off to be slaughtered.
Acting swiftly, PETA sent urgent letters, copies of which are available with ProPakistani, to the Vice Chancellor of the UVAS, Professor Dr. Nasim Ahmad, and the President of the Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council, Professor Dr. Masood Rabbani, urging them to adopt Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif’s recent Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) reform that prohibits the use of live animals in testing and surgical veterinary training and to immediately to switch to animal-free simulation models.
PETA’s Vice President, Shalin Gala, remarked, “Violating animals’ rectums and vaginas dozens of times a day until their bodies give out, after which they’re sold for slaughter, is barbaric”.
PETA is calling on Pakistan’s veterinary authorities to adopt and nationalize Prime Minister Sharif’s historic Islamabad reform that prohibits live testing of animals in veterinary colleges, and replace all painful, invasive exercises like these with superior and humane simulation models.
Last month, PETA President, Ingrid Newkirk, Gala, and other representatives of the organization held a historic meeting with the head of the PM’s Strategic Reforms Unit, Salman Sufi, to discuss veterinary school reforms and other issues. The meeting followed the release of shocking video footage showing dogs, that had reportedly been kidnapped from the streets, lying in pools of blood and excreta after being operated on without anesthetics.
This prompted Sufi to announce on 30 June, “Live testing of animals in veterinary colleges and industrial complexes is banned from today in Islamabad Capital Territory”.
Among other strategies, PETA’s officials discussed how to help veterinary schools switch to modern teaching tools, including the Bovine Breeder artificial insemination simulator and the SynDaver Surgical Canine, which allow students to practice critical skills without harming any animals.
Other strategic reforms that the group is pursuing potential collaboration with Sufi on include replacing the use of animals in medical training and classroom dissection exercises, setting up a national non-animal research method database, modernizing biomedical research through the group’s Research Modernization Deal, and establishing a school program that teaches empathy for animals.
PETA is an international nonprofit charitable organization based in Virginia, USA, with entities all around the world. It was founded in 1980 and is dedicated to establishing and defending the rights of all animals while working under the simple principle that “animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”.
PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: in laboratories, in the food industry, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment business. It also works on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of animals and birds that are often considered ‘pests’ as well as cruelty to domesticated animals.
With more than 9 million members and supporters globally, PETA works through public education, investigative news gathering and reporting, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.
It also informs policymakers and the public about animal abuse and is currently focusing on similar concerns in Pakistan.