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ATAAC | Australian Teens Against Animal Cruelty - Dissection

Information updated as of: 27/11/12

The Lowdown on Dissection

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There comes a time during most school careers when you will be confronted with a dissection experiment in science class. But did you know it’s your right to refuse to participate? That’s right! The school, the teachers and fellow pupils can’t force you to do it if you don’t want to! And why would you want to? Dissection is cruel, cruel, cruel! Not to mention outdated! So if you ever feel pressured please remember that NO state education department in Australia has made dissection compulsory.

 

Credit: robstephaustralia

A few reasons why dissection is wrong…

1. Animals die

Obvious, yes… but an inexcusable fact. HRA says that the most used animals are rats, mice, cats, dogs, pigs, chickens, frogs, toads and fish. Many of these animals are bred for the sole purpose of being experimented on. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sit too well with us! Nothing should have to die for educational purposes, especially when there are so many alternatives that don’t involve the death or suffering of a living being.

 

Credit: OakleyOriginals

 

2. Not essential

You really don’t need to hack open an animal to learn! In fact, Animals Australia say students using non-animal alternatives have been shown to perform better than those participating in dissection.

3. Facilitates the idea that animals are merely ‘things’

Encourages the idea that animals can be used in whatever capacity for the convenience of human beings, this can then cause indifference in young people towards all living creatures. A slippery slope indeed.

4. Just a waste of life!

Hands up who studied biology in high school? Hands up who has left school, and is still pursuing a career in science/biology? Chances are many student’s science studies were left behind when high school finished, meaning the dissection was just a waste of the animals’ lives! The very idea of dissection devalues what it means to “be alive” and the respect for fellow life forms.
 

Credit: biologycorner


4. It’s outdated

Think back to how the 1920s might have looked - women in long dresses, no television, no Facebook, old-school cars and generally poorer living conditions. Well, it’s also the same era that dissection was introduced! And boy oh boy has society changed a HELL of a lot since then! This also includes the advancement in technology and science. Science is constantly growing and evolving – and so should our attitudes towards dissection. It’s time to literally get out of the dark ages!

 

What you can do…

Voice your feelings to your teacher. Tell him/her that you don’t feel comfortable partaking in the dissection and alert him/her that there are plenty of non-animal alternatives that can be used to achieve the same objectives. Humane Research Australia (http://www.humaneresearch.org.au/help/index.htm) has up to date information and alternatives to experimenting on animals.

They are also available for advice and further information on 03 8823 5703 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

As always – we are here for help as well!

You can also email your Minister for Education and tell them how you feel! Politicians are there to listen to us, take advantage of this!

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

The Hon. Andrew Barr MLA
Minister for Education and Training
ACT Legislative Assembly
GPO Box 1020
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

NSW

The Hon Verity Firth MP
Minister for Education and Training
Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
SYDNEY NSW 2000
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NORTHERN TERRITORY

Dr Christopher Burns MLA
Minister for Education and Training
GPO Box 3146
DARWIN NT 0801
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

QUEENSLAND

The Hon. Geoff Wilson MP
Minister for Education and Training
PO Box 102
Ferny Hills DC, Queensland 4055
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The Hon Jay Weatherill
Minister for Education
GPO Box 778
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

TASMANIA

The Hon. Lin Thorp MLC
Minister for Education and Skills
10 Murray Street
HOBART TAS 7000
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

VICTORIA

The Hon. Bronwyn Pike
Minister for Education
146-148 Peel Street
North Melbourne, Vic. 3051
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The Hon. Dr Elizabeth Constable MLC
Minister for Education
19th floor, Governor Stirling Tower
197 St Georges Terrace
Perth, WA 6000
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Real life…

When I was in year 11 we were asked to dissect a rat for biology class. Sadly, I was the only one who objected. I was so surprised that I was the only one who felt this conviction. In fact, most people were excited to do it! But in an ironic turn of events when the day came for the dissection and the class began hacking away, I watched as the excitement turned to revulsion – it’s like it finally sunk in what everyone was doing…. playing with a dead animal’s carcus! Gross! One girl had to leave the classroom to be sick and many stopped halfway through the allocated time. I guess the reality was far different from what they originally thought it would be like. Not to mention the smell was disgusting! But what do you expect when twenty or so dead animals are being cut open? Six years on I still remember that day and the smell, and the fantastic feeling I still have knowing no animals died for me to learn that day!

 

credit: Columbia College

What’s happening around the world? (from Animals Australia)

- In 1987, the Argentinian government banned dissection in schools and stated that ...Biology is the science of life, and it is not consistent to teach it at the expense of the death of other beings ... experiments on animals are part of a dangerous process which tends to desensitize the mind to pain, suffering, to respect and to life itself.

- In Britain, "invasive uses of vertebrates" in schools is illegal. It is believed that the harm caused to animals through dissection outweighs any slight educational benefit. The University of London School Examinations Board has removed from the A-Level Biology course work the requirement to dissect a small mammal. Liverpool City Council has banned dissection totally.

- The Dutch Ministry established a project to reduce the number of animals in universities, and provided grants for the development of alternatives. They have archived a 40 per cent reduction so far.

- Four American states, New York, California, Pennsylvania and Florida, now guarantee students the legal right to be given a humane alternative to classroom dissection without compromising their grade.

- In India the Blus Cross has developed an interactive computer program for biology education. Compufrog simulates dissections which are routinely carried out in Indian schools.

 

Sources:
http://www.animalsaustralia.org/factsheets/dissection.php
http://www.humaneresearch.org.au/campaigns/say_no_to_dissection

 

 

 
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