SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Science and Technology Fairs

Animals in Research, Testing and Teaching

SPCA supports science education for students in primary and secondary levels, including an appreciation of animals. Our organisation advocates animals should only be used in primary and secondary science education when the animal’s physical, health, and behavioural needs are met before, during, and after a research or technology study.

SPCA advocates for students involved in science and technology fairs and student or teacher driven research to learn about the different ethical concerns with using animals in science, so that students understand this is an important part of research design. This includes the principles of the Three Rs- Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement and the role they have in protecting the welfare of animals used in RTT.

SPCA urges school and teachers to set boundaries on what types of activities are appropriate for student’s age and curriculum level.

Projects involving a manipulation of an animal are required under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to undergo Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) review. SPCA advocates for all teachers and students to conduct an evaluation of the potential harms and benefits of all projects using animals, even if the project does not include a manipulation (thus requiring AEC review).

SPCA opposes the use of animals in Science and Technology Fairs and student and teacher led research for experiments graded C-E. Experiments graded C-E are not appropriate for students at the primary and secondary level.

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