Victory! PCRM Persuades California Schools to End Cat Dissection
California’s Newport-Mesa Unified School District told PCRM in October that it will stop using cats for science class dissection. In June, PCRM requested the school district end animal dissection after Newport Harbor High School students mugged for photographs with dead cats, posted them on Facebook, and solicited disturbing comments from their friends.
“The staff at Newport-Mesa Schools decided to eliminate animal dissection and use electronic means in its lessons,” wrote David Brooks, president of the NMUSD Board of Education, to John Pippin, M.D., PCRM’s director of academic affairs.
The use of cats and other animals for science classroom dissection is unnecessary for optimal science education. Interactive and programmable software alternatives are available from several sources, and these provide educational, environmental, economic, and ethical advantages compared to animal dissections.
The National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Teachers Association, and the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society all endorse the use of computer-based dissection programs for all levels of science education.