Globally, action is being taken to fully replace the use of animals in dissections and other harmful teaching methods.
Here are some examples of the amazing progress made:
- A number of countries including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Argentina, Slovak Republic and Israel no longer conduct dissection exercises.1
- India has banned the dissection of animals in zoology and life sciences university courses.2
- In 2016 the Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine reported that all surveyed U.S. and Canadian Medical Schools are now free of live animals use. There are no known medical schools in these countries known to use live animals anymore.3
- After a decade long campaign by the Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine, in 2018 it is now reported that there are no known live animal labs used in Paediatrics Residency programs in all the U.S. and Canada. That is 228 Programs using only non-animal teaching methods.4
- In California, changes are being considered to one of their laws. Existing legislation authorizes that a pupil who has a moral objection to an animal teaching exercise (including dissection) may refrain from doing it and can be given an “alternative” educational project. The proposed changes would prohibit any student from kindergarten and grades 1 through 12, from performing animal dissections at all.5
- In April 2019, Brazil has implemented a partial ban on animal use for education purposes. The use of animals in many practical classes at undergraduate level and high school technical education is now prohibited. The ban refers to student practical classes for knowledge acquisition, and it is understood that this applies to practical classes within anatomy, pathology, physiology and pharmacology at these levels. This means the likes of animal dissection to learn about different anatomical structures is now illegal at this level.6
We live in a world that is constantly evolving to find better, more efficient ways of doing things. Education is no different, and institutes around the world are making innovative changes to match this.
Harming animals for teaching purposes will soon be a thing of the past and the University of Otago needs to join the 21st century and stop harming animals to 'teach' students. Instead, they should be embracing the use of humane education methods which will save animals, protect students, and benefit their university.
Humane education is in Otago’s future because it is already becoming the present elsewhere in the world. The real question is, how soon will the University of Otago step into the future, instead of staying in the past?