Alternatives available to biology class dissection |

Alternatives available to biology class dissection

David Pauli

Dear Editor,

Much to the relief of most parents, school is back in session. Students will be renewing friendships, meeting new teachers, and learning locker combinations.

A return to school can also mean a tough decision – whether to participate in biology class dissection lessons.

Surveys show that as many as two-thirds of students object to doing dissections, yet many schools require it. It’s little wonder why they are so reluctant. More than 5 million animals are used in dissection in the United States every year, including frogs, cats, rabbits and pigs.

A growing number of states have laws that give students the right to opt out of dissection and use one of a growing number of alternative methods. Many of these alternatives are actually more effective than traditional dissection in teaching lessons about anatomy and biology.

The Humane Society of the United States operates a loan program that provides access to these alternatives if schools don’t already offer them. This program is free, we only ask that parents or students cover the cost of return postage.

To participate, we require valid credit card information and an approximate date when materials will be returned. No charges will be incurred unless materials are returned damaged or not returned at all. Inventory of some items is limited.

Please contact us at least two weeks prior to when you actually need the materials. For more information on our dissection resources, visit our Web site at or call our headquarters office at 301-258-3042.

David Pauli

Director, Northern Rockies Regional Office

The Humane Society of the United States

Billings, Mont.

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