Cruelty opt-out

4th July 1997 at 01:00
INDIA: Schoolchildren will now be able to refuse to take part in experiments involving animals.

Bowing to pressure from animal rights activists for a ban on dissections in school laboratories, the central government has agreed to make it optional.

Maneka Gandhi, daughter-in-law of the late prime minister, Indira Gandhi, was one of the leaders in the campaign to end "cruelty to animals". A large number of frogs and rabbits are used in schools every year and during examination times the demand shoots up, resulting in blackmarketeering. This year, frogs in some parts of eastern India were reportedly sold at twice or three times their normal price.

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