Victory: Oklahoma City School Suspends Cat Dissection After Public Backlash To Dancing Cat Video

PETA Offers to Pay for Non-Animal Science Tools Which, Studies Show, Better Prepare Students

For Immediate Release:
June 4, 2015

Samantha Suiter 202-483-7382

Oklahoma City

Following the public outcry after PETA released a video showing students at Oklahoma City’s top-ranked Harding Charter Preparatory High School playing the jingle from Meow Mix cat food commercials and dancing with dead cats slated to be dissected in their anatomy class, the school announced that it’s suspending its feline-dissection program. A statement posted on the school’s website reads, “We are suspending our cat dissection program indefinitely, pending further research into possible options for the best educational opportunities for our students.”

PETA’s staff biology education expert has offered to demonstrate some of the superior and humane non-animal teaching methods available—such as virtual-dissection software—and the organization has offered to pay for the school’s switch. Almost 43,000 people urged Harding to end cat dissection by sending e-mails through PETA’s website and another online petition created by an Oklahoma parent garnered almost 56,000 signatures.

“By indefinitely suspending cruel and crude cat dissection, Harding Charter Preparatory has done the right thing by animals and students,” says PETA Director of Laboratory Investigations Justin Goodman. “PETA commends Harding and is ready to help the school adopt modern non-animal teaching tools, which, studies show, are more effective and humane as well as safer and less expensive—and best of all, they teach kids another important lesson: respect for life.”

Every year in the U.S., an estimated 10 million animals are killed for dissection. Many come from biological supply houses, which breed animals or obtain them from animal shelters or the wild. Published studies repeatedly show that students taught biology using non-animal methods, such as clay modeling systems, perform as well as—or better than—their peers who were taught using dissection.

These methods also save teachers time and money and increase students’ confidence and satisfaction. The National Science Teachers Association endorses the use of modern non-animal methods as replacements for dissection.

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