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Education

Animals used for educational purposes have a unique, but very minor place in the law. From classroom “pets” and humane education to animal dissection and science fair competitions, students regularly encounter the use of animals, living and dead, in their academic life.

It is arguable that all vivisection begins in the classroom, from the first earthworm or frog in elementary or middle school to frogs, fetal pigs and cats in secondary education. Undergraduate and graduate studies in the life sciences and fields such as psychology and agriculture may continue in the classroom and through the laboratory doors with internships and fellowship opportunities that exploit animals.

What protection does the law provide to animals in the classroom and to students with ethical objections to dissection in middle and high school grades, as well as at the college level? There are state laws and policies that give students the right to make a choice about dissection, and some state laws that prohibit using live animals for any classroom projects.