The Future is Kind Education

The Future is Kind Education

Kind Education is a growing movement all around the globe! It is the way of the future. It benefits animals and students alike. NZAVS has been leading the way here in New Zealand, to inform the public and support educators in making informed ethical decisions.


Some of the Steps We Are Taking to Encourage Kind Education

Currently, there is no easy way for parents to find out what New Zealand schools use animals for teaching. We conducted a survey that asks schools in NZ about their use of animals and specific details surrounding this. There are schools, even primary schools, still using dissections. You can find more about the survey results here.

We've presented on this issue to the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) and since then, NAEAC has promoted alternative methods to animal dissection to all of the Animal Ethics Committees in NZ.

In 2017, we released our children's book "The Six-Foot Rats" which educates in a fun way about the scientific invalidity of using a rat to predict the human response. Although we have this book available for anyone to buy, we wanted to do even more. Through fundraising, we sent a copy of this book to all primary school libraries and most public libraries in NZ.

Our Kind Education resource page is full of great alternatives for schools and veterinary/medical education. On top of that, we are happy to assist schools in finding the right teaching tools for their environment.

The SPCA is also positioning itself in favour of alternatives wherever possible.1So does SAFE with their Animals in Science textbook.2

An example of alternative methods being used in NZ to train vets has featured on national news in 2018 - Massey University is using mannequins to teach vets students. Read more here


International trend

People around the globe are moving towards Kind Education. Here are some examples of the amazing progress made:

  • India banned the dissection of animals in zoology and life sciences university courses in 2014.3 Specifically, the Indian University Grants Commission has directed all universities to stop the dissection of animals at undergraduate and postgraduate levelsand published a guideline on how they should approach this.5
  • In 2016, the Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine (PCRM) reported that all surveyed U.S. and Canadian Medical Schools are now free of live animal use. There are no medical schools in these countries known to use live animals anymore.6
  • PCRM reported in 2018 that there are no known live animal labs used in Paediatrics Residency programs in the U.S. and Canada. That is 228 Programs using only non-animal teaching methods.7
    • The veterinary teaching at Tufts University eliminated terminal laboratories from its curriculum in 1994 as the first one in the USA. For dissections in anatomy classes, they ethically source cadavers through a donation program.8
    • Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM, USA) built their ethical CSL in 2010, set up to train future vets without using invasive procedures involving live animals. Prof. Andrew Knight has outlined what was involved in setting this laboratory up, running it and growing its teaching scope to include a wider range of surgical, medical and other clinical skills.9 This CSL is showing promising results as demonstrated by the positive feedback received from students — A survey showed that 95% of students felt that CSL had improved their psychomotor skills! This emphasises that when alternatives are used instead of live animals for training vet students, the same academic outcome can be reached or even exceeded. The current Academic Catalogue stresses the use of simulators and models and does not use terminal surgery.10
    • The College of Veterinary Medicine (Illinois, USA) reports that new students regularly choose this school because of their excellent Clinical Skills Lab (CSL).11 They dropped live-terminal training many years ago.
    • Western University (USA) also proudly uses its “willed-body” program to access cadavers for dissections ethically. Training is performed with inanimate and dynamic models. Live animals are only treated for their naturally occurring diseases or sterilization.12
  • The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA, USA) reports on their achievements in getting US institutions to drop terminal surgeries in their teaching.13
  • In April 2019, Brazil implemented a partial ban on animal use for education purposes. The use of animals in many practical classes at the 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.14
  • International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching (InVeST) is an international group of veterinary doctors, connecting through regular conferences to share and enhance knowledge around teaching through models and simulations.15
  • A recent law change in Pakistan includes banning live animal procedures in veterinary schools and the shooting of some animals. Salman Sufi, head of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s strategic reforms unit, said that the law will be currently enacted in Islamabad and the federal government would encourage the provinces to implement it. A comprehensive law would be tabled in the next session of parliament for implementation at the national level.16 Furthermore, at the end of 2022, the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and The Prime Minister’s (MoFE & PT) launched the first Curriculum of Pakistan’s Animal Rights on the directives of Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif for all of Islamabad’s private and public institutes, teaching children about animal care and compassion.17
  • Several German universities provide education without animal use, and several more at least provide opt-out alternatives.18 Germany’s Animal Protection Law permits experimentation with live animals only at higher education institutions (not in schools).19

With efforts like these taking off around the globe, Kind Education is the future!


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  18. (German)
  19. (German)