New restrictions on use of cane toads prompts People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to offer modern teaching tools that incorporate kindness in the curriculum.
After hearing that The Queensland Schools Animal Ethics Committee has released a new standard operating procedure strictly limiting the use of cane toads in classroom dissection, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sent letters offering free dissection-simulation software to every school in the state.
In its letters, PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to experiment on" – points out that dozens of studies show that students who use non-animal biology teaching tools such as the popular Digital Frog virtual-dissection software learn as well as or better than their peers who dissect animals. Digital dissection also saves instructional time and money.
"Every student deserves the opportunity to learn about animals with the help of modern, state-of-the-art technology", says PETA Director of Campaigns Jason Baker. "PETA is ready to help Queensland schools replace cruel and archaic classroom animal dissection with software that is as humane as it is cost-effective."
The millions of animals used in school and university dissection may be obtained from animal shelters, come from biological-supply houses that breed animals or even be taken from the wild.
The U.S. National Science Teachers Association – the world's largest science education organisation – endorses the use of modern non-animal methods as replacements for animal dissection. Unlike crudely cutting apart chemically treated animal cadavers, highly interactive software programs teach students what animals' living bodies look like, and students can repeat lessons until they're proficient and confident.
PETA's letter to Queensland schools is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.