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Draft Animal Welfare Act, 2011
EXPERIMENTATION OF ANIMALS
21. Experiments on animals : No person or institution shall perform an experiment on animals unless permitted by the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals, established under this Act.
22. Committee for control and supervision of experiments on animals : (1) For the purpose of controlling and supervising experiments on animals, there shall be established by the Central Government a Committee by notification in the official gazette consisting of such number of officials and non-officials, as it may think fit to appoint thereto, and which shall include a representative each from the Central Zoo Authority, Board, the Veterinary Council of India, and two reputed members of an Animal Welfare Organization or Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, among others.
(2) The Central Government shall nominate one of the Members of the Committee to be its Chairman.
(3) The Committee shall have power to regulate its own Procedure in relation to the performance of its duties.
(4) The funds of the Committee shall consist of grants made to it from time to time by the Government and of contributions, donations, subscriptions, bequests, gifts and the like made to it by any person.
23. Sub-Committees : (1) The Committee may constitute as many sub-committees as it thinks fit for exercising any power or discharging any duty of the Committee or for inquiring into or reporting and advising on any matter which the Committee may refer.
(2) A sub-committee shall consist of Members of the Committee and other persons to aid and advice the committee. The sub committee may also co-opt other members if needed.
24. Staff of the Committee : Subject to the control of the Central Government, the Committee may committee appoint such number of officers and other employees as may be necessary to enable it to exercise its powers and perform its duties and may determine the remuneration and other terms and conditions of service of such officers and other employees.
25. Duties of the Committee and power of the Committee to make rules relating to
experiments on animals :
(1) It shall be the duty of the Committee to take all such measures as may be necessary to ensure that animals are not subjected to unnecessary trauma, pain or suffering before, during or after the performance of experiments on them, and ensure that experiments only to gain manual skills, or experiments whose results are known, or experiments that have non animal alternatives, or repetitive experiments, are not performed and to maintain records of various experiments performed by institutes registered with it, and to maintain details of various available non animal alternatives and for that purpose it may, by notification in the Gazette of India and subject to the condition of previous publication, make such rules as it may think fit in relation to the conduct of such experiments.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for the following matters namely:
(a) the registration of persons or institutions carrying on experiments on animals;
(b) the reports and other information which shall be forwarded to the Committee by persons and institutions carrying on experiments on animals;
(3) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, the regulations made by the Committee shall be designed to secure the following objectives, namely:
(a) that in cases where experiments are performed in any institution, the responsibility for such experiments would be on the person in charge of the institution, and that in cases where experiments are performed outside an institution by others on their behalf, the responsibility for such experiments shall be joint in ensuring that the experiments are performed by qualified individuals in compliance with the conditions prescribed by the committee;
(b) the experiments are performed with due care and humanity and that experiments involving operations are performed under the influence of an anesthetic of sufficient potency to prevent the animals feeling pain;
(c) that animals which, in the course of experiments under the influence of anesthetics, are so injured that their recovery would involve serious suffering, are euthanized in the manner prescribed while still insensible;
(d) that experiments and dissections are avoided in hospitals, educational institutes including undergraduate medical colleges, pharmacy colleges, zoology and other degree and diploma colleges and universities;
(e) that experiments on larger animals are avoided when it is possible to achieve the same results by experiments upon small laboratory animals;
(f) that experiments are not performed for the purpose of acquiring manual skill;
(g) that the animals intended to be used or used for experiments are cared for during and after experiments and rehabilitated wherever feasible in rehabilitation centers, and not in such offending institutes;
(h) that suitable records are maintained with respect to experiments performed on animals.
(4) In making any regulations under this section, the Committee shall be guided by such directions as the Central Government (consistent with the object for which the Committee is set up) may give to it, and the Central Government is hereby authorized to give such directions.
(5) All rules/regulations made, and requirements/conditions prescribed by the Committee shall be binding on all individuals performing experiments outside institutions and on persons in-charge of institutions in which experiments are performed.
26. Power of entry and inspection : For the purpose of ensuring that the rules/regulations made, or requirements/conditions prescribed by it are being complied with, the Committee or the Board as the case may be may authorize any of its officers or any other person in writing to inspect any institution or place where experiments are being carried on, and report to the committee, the result of such inspection, and any officer or person so authorized may?
(a) enter at any time considered reasonable by him and inspect any institution or place in which experiments on animals are being carried on; and
(b) require any person to produce any record kept by him with respect to experiments on animals; and
(c) Seize the animal if he has any reason to believe that the provisions of the Act are not being complied with or that the animals are being treated cruelly. The animals so seized shall be kept in the custody of the local SPCA or a recognized animal welfare organization.
27. Power to prohibit experiments on animals : If the Committee is satisfied, on the report of any officer or other person made to it as a result of any inspection under section 26 or otherwise, that the rules/regulations made or requirements/conditions prescribed by it under section 25 are not being complied with by any person or institution carrying on experiments on animals, the Committee may, after giving an opportunity to the person or institution of being heard in the matter, by order, prohibit the person or institution from carrying on any experiments either for a specified period or indefinitely, or may allow the person or institution to carry on such experiments subject to such special conditions as
the Committee may think fit to impose.
28. Penalties : If any person-
(a) contravenes Section 21 or any order made by the Committee under section 27; or
(b) commits a breach of any requirement/condition imposed by the Committee under those sections;
he shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than twenty thousand rupees but may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or imprisonment which shall not be less than one year but may extend to three years, or with both, and in the case of a second or subsequent offence with fine which shall not be less than seventy five thousand rupees but may extend to rupees one lakh, and with imprisonment which shall not be less than two years but which may extend to five years.
Further, that when the contravention or breach has taken place within an institution, the person in charge of such an institution shall also be deemed to be jointly guilty of the offence, and shall be punishable accordingly under the Act.
Provided that if at a later point in time, the need for enhancing the penalties prescribed is felt, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette and subject to the condition of previous publication, achieve that objective through Rules framed for the purpose.