Michigan School Kids Can Now Say No to Animal Dissection

PETA Works With State Board to Create New Policy; Group Offers to Donate Humane Teaching Tools to Classrooms

For Immediate Release:
July 31, 2014

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Lansing, Mich.

You’re a kid who doesn’t want to dissect a cat or a frog? From now on you won’t have to, if you attend a Michigan public school.

Following discussions with PETA and requests from parents and other residents, the Michigan State Board of Education adopted a progressive policy allowing students to pick modern teaching methods such as interactive digital dissection instead of cutting up animals in their science classes.

Michigan joins 21 other states plus the District of Columbia that have policies allowing students to opt out of animal dissection. Michigan has the nation’s ninth-largest student population, meaning that more than 1.57 million students will now be able to choose not to dissect.

“PETA applauds Michigan for creating more compassionate classrooms by allowing students to say no to cruel and archaic animal dissection and providing them with modern teaching methods instead,” says PETA Director of Laboratory Investigations Justin Goodman. “More students than ever now oppose the use of animals in experiments, and now in Michigan, they can learn to understand and appreciate animals without harming them.”

As PETA’s science education specialist and local residents explained at a Board of Education meeting in March, studies show that virtual dissection teaches anatomy better than archaic animal dissection does and students who oppose animal dissection often don’t voice objections. They participate because they aren’t presented with a choice or because they fear being punished if they don’t.

PETA has offered free training to familiarize Michigan science teachers with the available interactive computer-based dissection programs, many of which are completely free to use.

The millions of animals who are dissected in classrooms every year come from biological supply houses, which breed some animals and obtain others from animal shelters or the wild. The National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) endorse student dissection choice, and the NSTA and HAPS also approve the use of modern non-animal methods as full replacements for animal dissection. Earlier this year, PETA successfully worked with New Hampshire to create a statewide student dissection-choice policy.

PETA will be alerting all its members in the state about the new policy. For more information, please visit PETA.org/Dissection.


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