Time to End the Blood and Guts Class
A PCRM billboard located on Fort Hill Road in Lynchburg, Va., during the month of July let passersby know that teenagers and gruesome animal dissections don’t mix. The billboard called on local residents to help stop the “Blood and Guts” high school dissection course, which was recently renamed “Body Quest,” held annually at Lynchburg College. The billboard also promoted www.NoBloodAndGuts.org, PCRM’s website that offered information about the course and humane alternatives.
The “Body Quest” course, which involves the dissection of fetal pigs, sharks, snakes, turtles, frogs, minks, pigeons, and other animals, takes place each summer at Lynchburg College as part of the Virginia Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology for gifted students. In a letter to Dr. James Kroger, director of the program, PCRM offered to assist with an educational grant of up to $2,500 toward the purchase of a suitable library of computer-based learning alternatives to replace animal dissections. Two local veterinarians also committed to offering veterinary mentorships to the high school students in lieu of the animal dissections.
Pictures from last year’s course, which showed shocking images of students engaging in disturbingly inappropriate behavior toward the animals they were dissecting, prompted PCRM to ask administrators to implement humane dissection alternatives.
The Governor’s School has made no decision on the future of the course.