Government Pushes For Animal-Free Anti-Venom After Seeing Poor Condition Of Horses

Experts authorised by the Animal Welfare Board of India visited facilities where anti-venom is manufactured, and saw the condition of equines used

After nearly a year and a half of constant dialogues with top ministers and officials, the government’s Department of Biotechnology has put out a call for research into animal-free antivenins to counteract the effects of snake venom, something that is currently treated in India with drugs deduced from the blood of horses (equines).

Currently anti-venom in India is manufactured with the help of blood from horses (equines)

The call comes after a detailed report regarding the wellness and health of equines was submitted by a special team of experts assigned by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to relevant authorities revealing rampant abuse of thousands of sick and malnourished equines in nine facilities they saw. Last week, India’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), put out a public call, stressing the need to develop anti-venoms that do not come from harming animals.

“We shared these reports with all officials and ministers including PM Narendra Modi,” said PETA Science Policy Adviser Dr Dipti M Kapoor. According to her, though the report was finalised last February, it took them (PETA and AWBI’s team of experts) this long to clear everyone’s doubts. “We had a series of meetings to address the real issue and get a nod from the authorities saying it needs attention.”

Date : 06 November 2017

Source : http://www.mid-day.com/articles/government-animal-welfare-board-of-india-pushes-for-animal-free-anti-venom-after-seeing-poor-condition-of-horses/18712180