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Jennifer Watson, 11th grade Kenwood SHS, Baltimore September 2002. The Baltimore Sun , September 26, 2002:. Diane Goldian, Principal, Kenwood SHS: "We have the CD ready to go, we have our plans in place, and we can deliver a good program.”

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Presentation Transcript
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Jennifer Watson, 11th grade

Kenwood SHS, Baltimore

September 2002

the baltimore sun september 26 2002
The Baltimore Sun, September 26, 2002:

Diane Goldian, Principal, Kenwood SHS:

"We have the CD ready to go, we have our plans in place, and we can deliver a good program.”

Douglas Neilson, chief communications officer, Baltimore County Public Schools:

"The school system will make sure that biology and anatomy teachers systemwide know they must offer a choice. And every student in Kenwood High's anatomy class will be given the option of using the CD-ROM.”

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1998:

“The University recognises that some students may have a conscientious belief which is in conflict with teaching and/or assessment practices in one or more units in which they enrol. The University shall endeavour to make reasonable accommodations to meet such beliefs.”

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1999:

“… Murdoch was in a position to and should aim to conduct teaching that does not require animals to be killed specifically for this purpose by 2005.”

2000:

Murdoch’s first alternative veterinary surgical program: 2 students granted alternatives to all the terminal surgeries - involving experience assisting with surgery and anesthesia in private clinics and animal shelters, and sterilizations of shelter animals. They gained 5 times as much surgical and anesthetic experience as their classmates, and performed 21 spays (female sterilizations).

humane alternatives to harmful animal use in education
Humane Alternatives to Harmful Animal Use in Education
  • Preclinical: Computer simulations, videos, plasticised specimens, models, ethically sourced cadavers, non-invasive self-experimentation
  • Surgical: Surgical simulators, ethically-sourced cadaver surgery, supervised clinical experience, animal shelter sterilisation programs
reasons for use of humane alternatives
Reasons for Use of Humane Alternatives
  • Ethical considerations
  • Legislative requirements
  • Teaching efficacy
  • Psychological impacts of harmful animal use
  • Respecting student beliefs
  • Economic advantages
ethical considerations
Ethical Considerations
  • Numbers of animals used: Close to six millionvertebrates dissected annually in U.S. high schools alone.
  • Sources: Biological supply companies, Class B dealers (licensed animal brokers) - have used animal shelters, strays, "free to good home" ads.
  • Biological supply companies:
    • Inhumane killing practices.
    • Injection of still-living animals with formaldehyde-based preservatives.
    • Numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
  • Adverse environmental impacts: E.g., frog populations.
legislative requirements
Legislative Requirements
  • Animal Welfare Act:
    • The fundamental federal law intended to protect animals.
    • "animal” = any live or dead dog or cat or warm-blooded animal (excluding birds, mice or rats bred for research, and animals used for the production of food or fiber), used for research, teaching, testing, or that is a "pet."
    • The “principal investigator” in an experiment or procedure is required to explore the use of humane alternatives. This would include teachers in charge of animal-based learning exercises.
  • State animal protection legislation may also be applicable.
comparative studies of student performance
Comparative Studies of Student Performance

At least 28 studies covering all levels of education have demonstrated the superior or equivalent efficacy of alternative methods in imparting knowledge or clinical or surgical skills:

Balcombe, J. Accessed August 16th 1999. Comparative studies of dissection and other uses of animals in education. Online via www.hsus.org, Animals in Research, Animals in Education.

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1. Fowler, H.S. & E.J. Brosius. 1968. A research study on the values gained from dissection of animals in secondary school biology. Science Education 52(2): 55–57.

High school students who watched films of animal dissections (earthworm, crayfish, frog, perch) demonstrated greater factual knowledge of these animals than did students who performed dissections on them.

2. Kinzie, M.B., R. Strauss & J. Foss. 1993. The effects of an interactive dissection simulation on the performance and achievement of high school biology students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 30(8): 989–1000.

Findings suggest that an interactive videodisc was at least as effective as actual dissection in promoting high school student learning of frog anatomy and dissection procedures.

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3. Lieb, M.J. 1985. Dissection: A valuable motivational tool or a trauma to the high school student? Unpublished Thesis, Master of Education, National College of Education, Evanston, Illinois.

Post-test scores were equivalent for high school students who dissected earthworms and those who received a classroom lecture on earthworm anatomy.

4. McCollum, T.L. 1987. The effect of animal dissections on student acquisition of knowledge of and attitudes toward the animals dissected. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of Cincinnati.

Approximately 175 high school biology students taught frog structure, function, and adaptation via lecture performed better on a post-test than did approximately 175 high school biology students taught by doing a frog dissection.

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Strauss, R.T. and Kinzie, M.B. 1994. Student achievement and attitudes in a pilot study comparing an interactive videodisc simulation to conventional dissection. The American Biology Teacher 56(7): 398–402.

Two groups of high school students performed equally on a test following either animal dissection or interactive videodisc simulation.

other advantages of humane alternatives
Other Advantages of Humane Alternatives
  • Time savings
  • Staff savings
  • Cost savings
  • Unlimited numbers of ‘virtual animals’
  • Greater flexibility of learning
negative impacts of harmful animal use
Negative impacts of harmful animal use

University of Illinois veterinary students, 1999, re: learning benefits of terminal first year physiology laboratories:

"It was difficult to get any great understanding of physiology because we worried most of the time about not having our dog bleed to death or die of anesthetic overdose before the experiment was over. In the end, what I learned about physiology (cardiology and respiratory physiology) I taught myself from the notes."

“… most of us were too preoccupied with having to kill the dog that physiology wasn't concentrated on …”

“Nothing that was covered in those labs could not have been learned from a demo, or a video. The guilt I felt for participating outweighed all beneficial aspects of the experience.”

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“The stress of the whole ordeal was worth nothing in the end. I studied from these books, not from my lab experience.”

“During one lab, my group accidentally killed our dog with anesthesia overdose because of lack of experience and the impatient ill-given advice of a professor. The experience overshadowed the benefit gained by the first lab.”

Conclusions: 59 % believed the non-survival animal physiology labs were not "worth the resources used". Only 20 % felt they gained "great benefit" in their understanding of physiology from the laboratories.

psychological impacts of harmful animal use
Psychological Impacts of Harmful Animal Use
  • Negative underlying message about intrinsic value of animals’ lives, development of a utilitarian view of animals.
  • Risk of psychological trauma resulting in impairment of cognitive abilities, decreased learning, and loss of interest in the sciences - female students most commonly affected.
  • Desensitization to suffering and killing.
  • Diminished capacity for compassion and ethical decision making.
respecting student beliefs
Respecting Student Beliefs
  • Legislative issues
    • E.g. Safia Rubaii, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 1995: Sued for $95,000 after failing physiology because she refused to perform a required experiment at Colorado which involved giving a lethal injection to an anesthetized dog, and being forced to retake it at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Nebraska, where harmful animal use was not required.
  • Eight states with student choice legislation or policies:

California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island.

  • Publicity issues
economic advantages
Economic Advantages

Costs of laboratory animals:

  • Purchase
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Feeding
  • Veterinary care
  • Experimental anesthesia
  • Euthanasia
a cost comparison animal dissection vs humane alternatives
A Cost Comparison:Animal Dissection vs. Humane Alternatives

Typical biology department over a three year period:

  • Animals dissected: frog, fetal pig, cat and dogfish.
  • 3 classes comprised of 30 students each, every pair of students dissects each species of animal once. Hence 45 frogs, 45 fetal pigs, 45 cats and 45 dogfish needed annually, or 135 of each over a three year period.
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Frog alternatives: ScienceWorks Dissection Works: Frog CD ROM, Ward's Frog Model (Female), Frog Dissectionogram Chart

Fetal pig alternatives: ScienceWorks Dissection Works: Fetal Pig CD ROM (same CD as for frog), Ward's Fetal Pig Model, Ward's Fetal Pig Dissection Video

Cat alternatives: Neotek's 3D Cat Laboratory CD ROM, Ward's Pregnant Cat Model, Ward's Cat Dissection Video

Dogfish alternatives: The Media Center Dogfish Video, Ward's Pregnant Shark Model, Pictorial Anatomy of the Dogfish

Dissection costs: $11,239

Alternatives costs: 7,574

Cost saving of alternatives: 3,665

(Cadaver prices: WARD's Biology Catalog 2002)

reasons for use of humane alternatives1
Reasons for Use of Humane Alternatives
  • Ethical considerations
  • Legislative requirements
  • Teaching efficacy
  • Psychological impacts of harmful animal use
  • Respecting student beliefs
  • Economic advantages