Dissection of Dead Animals
Animals in Research, Testing and Teaching
SPCA advocates for the use of humane alternatives to animals for classroom dissection.
SPCA advocates for educational institutions to support educators that seek alternatives to animal cadavers to meet student learning outcomes, especially when empirical evidence demonstrates better or equivalent learning outcomes with use of non-animal alternatives.
SPCA opposes the dissection of vertebrate and invertebrate animals in educational settings, unless it is essential to gain an understanding of the content of the course, and then only if no other viable alternatives are available. In all cases, ethically sourced cadavers and body parts should be used, and animals should not be bred, reared, and killed for the purpose of dissection in educational settings.
Our organisation welcomes the creation and use of educational resources that provide humane alternatives to dissection, such as computer software, 3-D models, and video to teach anatomy and complex biological processes.
Where animal dissections take place, students should not be required to perform or watch the procedure and acceptable and humane alternatives should be provided to allow those students to meet the requirements of the course. Students who withdraw from watching or participating in animal dissections should not be penalised. SPCA supports policy where students opt in for dissections that use animal cadavers.
(See The 3Rs: Replacement, Reduction, Refinement for more information)