India’s First Elephant Hospital Opens In Mathura

India’s first specialized hospital for elephants was on Friday formally opened by Agra Divisional Commissioner Anil Kumar at Farah block’s Churmura village.

The unique medical centre offers wireless digital X-ray, laser treatment, dental X-ray, thermal imaging, ultrasonography, hydrotherapy and quarantine facilities.

Located close to the elephant conservation and care centre, the hospital is designed to treat injured, sick or geriatric elephants and is equipped with a medical hoist for lifting elephants, as also an elephant restraining device with a dedicated indoor treatment enclosure for long duration medical procedures.

An observation deck will allow veterinary students and interns to observe and learn about elephant’s behaviour and treatment from a safe distance.

The Wildlife SOS established the first elephant conservation and care centre in 2010 and is currently looking after 20 elephants requiring specialised treatment.

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Casting capers: Maneka sees animals in wrong role

Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has locked horns with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), accusing it of being lax in enforcement of rules that specify how wild animals can be depicted in films and television programmes. The board is India’s apex body for ensuring that animals are not mistreated.

The minister has listed “blatant errors” by the AWBI subcommittee that screens applications from film-makers. She alleged that the committee did not seek details of the species being used, which were required to determine whether they were protected. It had even allowed their depiction in scenes that could promote cruelty to animals. This is against the Supreme Court’s orders.

Established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960, the Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory advisory body advising the Government of India on animal welfare laws, and promotes animal welfare in the country of India. Animal Welfare Board of India was started under the stewardship of Late Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, well known humanitarian.

The Board was initially within the jurisdiction of the Government of India’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture. In 1990, the subject of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was transferred to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, where it now resides.

The Board consists of 28 Members, who serve for a period of 3 years.

It works to ensure that animal welfare laws in the country are followed and provides grants to Animal Welfare Organisations. The Board oversees Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs) by granting recognition to them if they meet its guidelines.

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Commission approves modern animal-free testing for drugs

In a step that would spare animals from suffering due to drug experiments, the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission has approved modern, animal-free tests for drug manufacturers. In the 2018 edition of Indian Pharmacopoeia, that provides guidelines on tests for drugs manufactured and marketed in India, the IPC has replaced the pyrogen test carried out on rabbits and the abnormal toxicity test carried out on guinea pigs and mice with tests that can be done in test tubes.

The guidelines in the edition will come into effect from July 1.

The pyrogen test is carried out to check impurity or substance that can cause adverse side-effects. For the test, the drug is injected into a rabbit and the animal is closely observed for feverish symptoms.

The abnormal toxicity test is carried out to check potential hazardous biological contamination in vaccine formulations.

This batch test is done before the product is approved for marketing. In this, mice or guinea pigs are injected with the vaccine. The scientists observe if there is death of any animal.

Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) is an autonomous institution of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which sets standards for all drugs that are manufactured, sold and consumed in India. The set of standards are published under the title Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) which has been modelled over and historically follows from the British Pharmacopoeia. The standards that are in effect since December 1, 2010, is the Indian Pharmacopoeia 2010 (IP 2010). The Pharmacopoeia 2014 was released by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on November 4, 2013.

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