Ending Animal Dissections in NZ Schools

Saving animals from dissections in schools also creates safe, inclusive spaces for students to learn in. It’s a no-brainer!

Why we work to end animal experimentation

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Together with you, we want to create a future world where animals being used in harmful ways for science has ended. This includes the harmful use of animals for teaching purposes.

Our students of today, from kindergarten to university, are a vital part of building that brighter and ethical future for our animals in Aotearoa New Zealand.

When we educate with kindness, we include as many minds as we can. With great and growing minds come even greater possibilities for the way we treat our animals and the incredible science we can produce without harming them.

With you by our side, NZAVS will continue to support educators in making informed ethical decisions, to give the future minds of today the best chance to stand up for our animals in NZ, tomorrow and beyond. 

By using animal-free alternatives to educate students, we can save animals and create safe, inclusive spaces for students to learn in. It’s a no-brainer! 

Animal use in NZ Schools 

Every year in NZ, thousands of animals are used for teaching purposes.

But, there was no easy way for parents or guardians to find out what schools use animals for teaching and how that may impact their children.

NZAVS has now shone a spotlight on schools across the motu with our spotlight survey on schools using animals

We conducted a survey to ask schools in NZ about their use of animals and specific details on how. We sent our survey to 2,518 schools. 1,179 schools filled in the survey (46.8%).

The results show there are schools, even primary schools, still using dissections!

As well as the obvious harming animals, students can find animal dissections distressing which has many negative impacts, including their ability to learn properly. Stressful situations like this may even put students off wanting to pursue a career in science.

The results also show there is an urgent need for teachers and school administrators to be informed about the current laws and regulations around animal usage in education with 83% describing their awareness of animal welfare regulations as “unfamiliar” or only “somewhat familiar”.

Learn more about this survey here


We've created some handy resources to help you avoid animal dissections, support someone else in avoiding animal dissections and learn about the many benefits of using animal-free alternatives: 

Kind kids are key to our future

Our mokopuna are our future. They also hold the key to how animals in NZ will be treated and respected in the future.

If we can change their perceptions and break the current default cycle of using animals in research, testing and teaching then the next generation will help us see animal experimentation consigned to the history books.

What better way to help spread that message than an engaging, illustrated children’s book found in almost every library, across the land?

Our Kids book, The Six-Foot Rats 

The Six-Foot Rats tells the story of two lab rats, Archie and Monty who come to the realisation that they are being used to try and find treatments for humans – an entirely different species! 

The book aims to introduce children to the important, yet sensitive issue of animal testing in a light and engaging manner. While this topic is a serious and often upsetting one, The Six-Foot Rats instead focuses on the fundamental truth (stressing the FUN), as discovered by the lab rats in the book: animals are not humans, and it is strange and bizarre to compare the two.

The Six-Foot Rats was written and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbs for NZAVS

Thanks to our amazing supporters, we raised enough money to send a copy of this important resource to 2,106 libraries across NZ! 

Find out more and buy your own copy here


Together with you, we will work with schools to:

  • Assist with fully replacing the killing of animals for dissection purposes by supplying willing schools with alternative teaching methods that can be used for years to come.
  • Continue creating resources for students, parents, and teachers to help them understand their legal obligations and options.
  • Educate teachers and administrators by encouraging the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) to do more to educate schools about legislation and share our new resources when they are ready.
  • Continue distributing the Six-Foot Rats so that children across the country, for years to come, will have access to this informative book and learn about animal testing and why it so urgently needs to end.


If you know of a school still using animal dissection, please contact us and we can work out the best way to approach them and help them change to animal-free alternatives.

Please donate to help us provide these schools with animal-free alternative teaching methods.


With your help we can end animal experimentation in Aotearoa.