AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
NEW DELHI: Former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson has appealed to India's top medical institute to retire old monkeys used in scientific research, animal rights group PETA India said Saturday.
The Hollywood actress said she had seen a video allegedly secretly filmed at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) that showed sick monkeys and rabbits which had been kept in cages for up to 20 years.
"It broke my heart to see the suffering," Anderson said in a letter written to AIIMS director R. C. Deka on behalf of the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The video, which was enclosed with the letter, showed animals under extreme distress, with a monkey racing up the walls of the cage to get out and a rat compulsively running in circles, she said.
"The animals suffering behind closed doors at AIIMS must endure this nightmare every day," she said.
The video also depicted newborn rats being shaken in their cages by attendants as well as wounded rats being denied veterinary care, Anderson said.
"Please, won't you at least agree to retire the animals who have been at AIIMS the longest to a sanctuary?" Anderson asked Deka, adding that Indian law required all laboratories to "rehabilitate" animals after three years.
A spokesman for AIIMS told Indian newspaper The Times of India that the institute had not received any letter from Anderson, and said that the research facility was "state of the art" and fully compliant with Indian laws.
Spokesman Y. K. Gupta said that AIIMS already had rehabilitation facilities for animals after they had been spent three years as experiment subjects.
Anderson, 43, recently came to India's financial capital Mumbai to participate in the reality television show "Bigg Boss," the Indian version of "Big Brother."