Monday, 20 June 2011

Aberystwyth University dissections

In our last post we briefly mentioned the animals killed or experimented on at Aberystwyth University. Since then a few students have contacted us complaining about the cruelty that they felt was involved. One student sent details of how they were forced into doing animal dissection at Aberystwyth University against their will. We have included (with permission) an anonymised version of their email below which shows the embedded cruelty behind closed doors.

"It was a horrendous ordeal ... I was pressured into doing it, along with my peers, and threatened that I would fail the practical if I didn't - hence also failing the module, and as a compulsory module it would mean I would be unable to complete the degree that I’d already spent thousands of pounds on. We were being forced to do dissections or lose 15% of our grade, or told to change degree schemes.

I contacted many organisations such as PETA, VIVA and Interniche for help, hoping that if we could make a stand it would pave the way for future generations and we could save the lives of hundreds of mice and fish and other creatures.

This was one response:

“I am forwarding your email to InterNICHE (the International Network for Humane Education) and to another friend who is very experienced in this area, who should be able to help you find the best methods to cover your particular course without harming animals. The InterNICHE website also has a large amount of information about conscientious objection, and on the research that has been done showing that learning outcomes from alternatives are at least as good as those from harmful animal use”.

However, no matter how much I objected, and even when I produced some alternative virtual dissections for the lecturers to consider, they simply said it is too costly and I was laughed out of the office. The emailing and resistance continued for a couple of months. It was a horrible time for me. A very sad time. I also tried speaking to other lecturers to find out the policies and was told that 'hopefully' they will get a licence from the home office to breed their own mice etc, to kill and dissect at university. All I could do was pray this did not happen. Oh and according to your stats or the origin of these animals, the lecturers must have been lying to me, they assured us nothing had been killed for the purpose of the lab work."
Not all education is good. That which tries to justify the use of other species in this way only teaches people that they should try to quash their compassion, a lesson which should shame any organisation.

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