The MSPCA-Angell recognizes that the study of the biological sciences is important to a comprehensive elementary and secondary school science curriculum. However, these studies traditionally included invasive and/or stressful procedures performed on animals to demonstrate various biological concepts. We believe that it is unnecessary to use animals, live or deceased, in this manner. Such use can also be illegal. We believe that experiments of this kind are detrimental to the development of positive and responsible attitudes towards animal life.
The MSPCA-Angell also believes that consideration for the disposition of live animals after use in the classroom has to be carefully considered prior to utilizing live animals. Many classroom experiments, such as egg-hatching, may unintentionally result in animals being born without consideration for their life or well-being.
Therefore, the MSPCA-Angell is opposed to the use of any animal in a school-sponsored activity in a manner that would cause pain, stress, homelessness, unnecessary euthanasia, or suffering. We also oppose any activity that would in any way interfere with the normal health, behavior, development, or environment of that animal.
The MSPCA-Angell believes that educators in elementary and secondary schools should follow these guidelines:
1. Limit the use of live animals in the classroom or sanctioned extracurricular activities to the observation of normal living patterns, behavior, development, and relation to the environment. See our statement on Classroom Animals.
2. Utilize simulations, models, and other technology to teach those subjects that traditionally involved the use of live or deceased animals, including dissection.
3. Be aware of and discuss within the curriculum the ethical concerns surrounding the use of animals in studies. These include potentially desensitizing students to animal life, problematic animal sourcing including wild capture, and inhumane transport and death.
4. Have thoughtful consideration about an animal’s disposition after use so that the result is not homelessness or euthanasia.
Therefore, the MSPCA will:
• inform the public about existing laws that regulate the use of animals in these settings.
• recommend humane education programs and materials that promote ethical considerations and alternatives to the invasive use of animals in science studies.