Photos of Mouse Allegedly Tortured by Teens Prompt Offer of Humane Education

PETA Stresses Need to Teach Anti-Bullying and Implement Digital Dissection in the Classroom—for Whole Community's Sake

For Immediate Release:
April 13, 2017

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Ludlow, Mass. – Two Ludlow High School students are facing felony cruelty-to-animals charges after allegedly drowning, beating, and mutilating a mouse they purchased from Petco and posting images of the tortured animal on a plate on social media. Following reports that the students claimed that they wanted to dissect the animal “like in a biology class,” TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—sent letters this afternoon to schools in the Ludlow Public Schools District urging them to implement compassionate education and to replace all classroom dissection with superior non-animal methods.

Numerous studies have shown that classroom dissection can foster callousness toward animals in students—and that people who demonstrate a blatant lack of empathy and disregard for life by committing violent acts on animals often go on to harm humans as well.

“We’re facing a bullying epidemic, and if reports are true, these teenagers deliberately tortured and mutilated a mouse and callously posted about it on social media,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging schools to ban dissection so that animals no longer suffer under the guise of education and students like these two are no longer taught that cruelty to animals is acceptable.”

Non-animal methods, such as interactive computer programs, have been shown to teach biology as well as—and in many cases, better than—dissection. To help ensure a smooth transition to humane education, TeachKind (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”) has offered to donate digital dissection software to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations for students via Skype—all for free.

TeachKind has also sent Ludlow elementary schools its anti-bullying Share the World curriculum kits, which are appropriate for even the youngest learners.

The group’s letters are available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind