We have received a response from the University of Otago, about our request for them to make a commitment to no longer killing animals for the purpose of dissection teaching exercises. We'll be honest - it isn't looking good! The University of Otago appears to be reluctant to make this positive change for animals.
They believe that creating a policy prohibiting the killing of animals for dissection teaching exercises would infringe on the rights of their staff's "academic freedom" to "teach and assess students in the manner they consider best promote learning." They claim this prevents them from making the global commitment we have asked for.
It's important for us to clarify that students perform just as well or better when using non-animal alternatives to dissection exercises.
It's also unfortunate that the university thinks it is more important to protect their staff's "academic freedom" than the animals that they are killing. If they cared as much about the animals as they claim to about their staff, their institute would be a very different place - a more humane place.
What are we doing now?
We are making one last attempt to work with the University of Otago on this, asking them to reconsider as we would rather work with them than against them. However, they may not leave us much choice, and we may have to take further action. We have asked for the opportunity to send a list of suggested replacements to the current situations where animals are being killed for this specific purpose. We have even said that we would be interested in helping to find funding for these alternative options. We are making it as easy as we possibly can for them to make this commitment.
If they still say no, then they have proven that they have no interest in making any changes to the use of animals in their curriculum and that there is no point in trying to negotiate any further. The point that they seem to be forgetting is that there are literally lives at stake here, and they are needlessly and willingly ending those lives.
This is their last chance to work with us to make a positive change for the animals.
Please consider supporting our campaign and making a small donation so we can continue to put pressure on!