President’s Message:

No Need for Dissection in Schools with Proven Alternative

Pat Valusek, president of New York State Humane Association
Pat Valusek, President of New York State Humane Association.

Children are back in school and once again many of them will be confronted with biology class and its attendant lab dissection projects. Now, by law, children and their parents who object have the right to ask for alternatives to dissection.

NYSHA believes that dissecting any animal is objectionable, especially since there are viable alternatives available. Dissecting animals can cause children to become desensitized not only to pain inflicted on animals, but also, subsequently, pain inflicted on humans. Studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between abuse to animals and violence to humans, as outlined in Dr. Harold Hovel’s booklet which is available on our website. For some youngsters, dissection could be one of the steps along that path.

To assist in the effort to provide teachers, parents, and children with alternatives, NYSHA has provided several resources on our website. They cover the New York State law outlining the rights of children to opt out of dissection, an explanatory document for parents who want their children to be excused, and an opt-out form to submit to the school.

In addition to all this important information, there is a link to humane educational materials that can be used to gain a better understanding of what can be found online from various organizations. With regard to the alternatives to dissection issue in particular, there is a link to the American Anti-Vivisection Society’s AnimaLearn page with links to alternatives that are available to teachers and students at no cost, which could save the lives of countless innocent animals who are killed each year to provide students with frogs, etc. to use in unnecessary exercises.

There is no need for dissection in schools with these proven alternatives. Please review the materials that have been placed here and spread the word that these resources are available for easy access on the NYSHA website. NYSHA is currently contacting school districts with this information as well.

You can help us promote a more humane ethic starting with impressionable children by not allowing or encouraging them to participate in the mutilation of animals.

Always be kind to animals,

Patricia Valusek

New York State Humane Association Humane Review, Vol.XXXIII Fall 2018.