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Animal Dissection In Schools Essay

Dissection is a common practice among high schools in the biology class. With new technology arising, there has been many debates that have been presented looking at the pros and cons of such behaviour. Millions of animals are killed annually, there are little to no control measures in place, and animals suffer for the use of dissection among students. In the United States, six million frogs are dissected annually in high schools. An additional amount is used in elementary and universities across the world.

Jonathan Balcombe from the Human Society of the United States researched the topic and found out that one US biological supply company sells more than 170 different species of preserved animals annually. There are few control measures in place currently protecting the rights of animals on how they are obtained to be sold for dissection. One inspection is required annually by the US Department of Agriculture to inspect the biological supply companies. The report of the inspections provide very little information about the facilities and how they are running.

The questions that arise from the reports are about cage construction and sanitation leaving out the crucial questions about the animals themselves. This may be due to the fact most animals are already dead at the facility, and the USDA considers dead animals not their concern. In addition, the regulations that are set out for the US Animal Welfare Act do not include all animals. Amphibians, birds, fish, and reptiles caught and killed for dissection are not reported by the federal government. Finally, animals are taken from their natural habitats to be dissected.

Animals are living creatures that should be treated with the same respect as do humans. Frogs are reported to be captured from their swamps, dogfish sharks are trapped in nets, and snakes, turtles and others are caught wildly. Fetal pigs are removed from pregnant sow who are later slaughtered for their meat. However, information regarding the operations of biological supply companies is very hard to obtain due to secrecy. In 1971, there was the first study published by the science journal, BioScience which showed the collection of frogs for dissection.

The study investigated four major US biological supply companies. It displayed that frogs were kept in nylon mesh bags for a week for shipping with a total of a hundred tightly packed into each. The frogs suffered severe temperatures and dryness; resulting in fifteen percent of frogs being dead after shipping. Half the frogs were said to be dead after sorting and holding in pens of 30,000 frogs during the winter after shipping. The authors concluded that “nearly every step of the catching and shipping places serve stress on the frog. It is said that behaviours have not changed since.

Video footage was released in 1990 by an undercover investigation run by Carolina Biological Supply Company leaking many alarming images. Cats were being shoved into crowded gas chambers, crabs being injected with deadly chemicals, and rats struggling in facilities. In 1994, the World Society for the Protection of Animals investigated PARMEESA, a Mexican biological supply company. WSPA noted the drowning of thousands of cats, who were tied into cloth socks and put into the river.

All of the cats were then shipped to the US for dissection in classrooms. There are many cons to the use of animals for dissection however, there are many pros as well. Dissections provide a clear understanding that visual students cannot provide and it will give students a hands on feel of what the future may be if they continue to study sciences. It is said that students remember things they can touch therefore they remember more in the future from the activity of dissecting.

A study of 400 random students was done, and the result was that 71% of students perceived the real dissection experience to be more useful than the virtual dissection. In addition, studies show that students retain 90% of what they physically perform and only 10% of what they see and hear. Grade five students at St. Frances Cabrini School dissected sharks and students loved it. Two students, Oliver Perez Cruz and Daniel Moore said it was more fun than learning about sharks from their desks in the classroom.

The teacher Ms. Stickell said, “I can tell them about a heart and liver and gallbladder, but until they see it… it’s not real. I’m a visual person. ” Students who are studying biology to go into career paths can use the dissection as a learning factor. Studying the anatomy of the animal being dissection can be used to understand diseases, how organs and organ systems work together, and view the relative size of organs. I believe dissection should not be practiced.

Most of the students taking the biology course are forced to take it due to credits and are not heading in the career path regarding science, therefore students who are learning the anatomy of the animals will not be practicing it in the future. Animals should not be killed and endure suffering for the use of dissection, if the same matters can be learned using a plastic figure or an online source. Due to respect of the animal, students should not be cutting them open after they have been captured. They are living creatures and should be treated like they are.

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