The Use Of Animals In Biology Education

The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) believes that the study of organisms, including nonhuman animals, is essential to the understanding of life on Earth. NABT recommends the prudent and responsible use of animals in the life science classroom. NABT believes that biology teachers should foster a respect for life. Biology teachers also should teach about the interrelationship and interdependency of all things.

Classroom experiences that involve nonhuman animals range from observation to dissection. NABT supports these experiences so long as they are conducted within the long established guidelines of proper care and use of animals, as developed by the scientific and educational community.

As with any instructional activity, the use of nonhuman animals in the biology classroom must have sound educational objectives. Any use of animals, whether for observation or dissection, must convey substantive knowledge of biology. NABT believes that biology teachers are in the best position to make this determination for their students.

NABT acknowledges that no alternative can substitute for the actual experience of dissection or other use of animals and urges teachers to be aware of the limitations of alternatives. When the teacher determines that the most effective

*Adopted by the Board of Directors in October 1995. This policy supersedes and replaces all previous NABT statements regarding animals in biology education.

means to meet the objectives of the class do not require dissection, NABT accepts the use of alternatives to dissection including models and the various forms of multimedia. The Association encourages teachers to be sensitive to substantive student objections to dissection and to consider providing appropriate lessons for those students where necessary.

To implement this policy, NABT endorses and adopts the "Principles and Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Precol-lege Education" of the Institute of Laboratory Animals Resources (National Research Council). Copies of the "Principles and Guidelines" may be obtained from NABT or the ILAR (2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418; 202 334-2590).

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