Dissection of Dead Animals
Animals in Research, Testing and Teaching
SPCA advocates for the creation and use of educational resources that provide humane alternatives to animals for dissection.
SPCA supports ongoing commitment from educational institutions to provide support for educators that seek alternatives to animal cadavers to meet student learning outcomes.
SPCA opposes the dissection of vertebrate and invertebrate animals in educational establishments, except where 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 should be used, and animals should not be bred for the purpose of being dissected in educational establishments.
Our organisation is against methods of breeding, rearing, and killing animals used for dissection which may cause welfare harms. Our organisation welcomes the creation and use of educational resources that provide humane alternatives to dissection, such as sophisticated computer software, which is able to teach anatomy and complex biological processes while instilling in students a respect for the value of animals’ lives.
SPCA is concerned that taking part in or observing the dissection of animals can lead to desensitisation and a lessening of respect for animal life. Where animal dissections take place, students should not be forced to perform or watch the procedure. SPCA supports policy where students opt in for dissections that use animal cadavers. The views of students who wish to withdraw from watching or participating in animal dissections should be respected without penalty, and acceptable and humane alternatives should be provided to allow those students to meet the requirements of the course.