Having to use animals in science education in ways that a student finds cruel and unethical has turned many compassionate students away from a career in the biological sciences. NEAVS’ educational affiliate, the Ethical Science Education Coalition (ESEC), seeks to end the harmful use of animals at all levels of science education. ESEC initiates and supports campaigns to end terminal labs, intubation and other live animal training courses, and to promote alternatives to animal dissection. ESEC provides expert resources and other services in support of humane alternatives to the use of animals.
All students should have the right to choose humane dissection alternatives over traditional animal dissections. Yet only 15 states and the District of Columbia have laws or policies mandating a student's right to choose alternatives without penalty. ESEC supports legislation and state policies that allow students the right to a science education respectful of and consistent with their beliefs. Dissection choice legislation protects students who, for religious, moral, or ethical reasons, do not wish to participate in animal dissection.
NEAVS/ESEC played a key role in the 2005 enactment of the Massachusetts Department of Education’s student choice policy, which protects students who choose not to participate in animal dissection and allows them to learn through available humane alternatives, and provided testimony to dozens of state bills, from Maine to California. NEAVS/ESEC also initiated the first prototype of “shelter medicine training” to veterinary students who refused to participate in their school’s terminal dog lab. In terminal labs, students perform surgery and other invasive procedures on healthy animals and then euthanize them. NEAVS funded a pilot program for veterinary students to learn surgical techniques, under direct licensed veterinary supervision, by performing needed spay/neuter and any other necessary surgeries on homeless dogs, cats, and feral cats – benefiting the students, the animals, and society’s cat and dog overpopulation problem.
ESEC's free loan library program
Through ESEC, we offer alternative programs as a humane way for students to learn about science, anatomy, and physiology, and we support students at all grade levels, from elementary to veterinary school. ESEC’s free loan library offers over 300 non-animal dissection and other teaching alternatives, such as advanced computer software programs, manuals, charts, realistic animal models, resuscitation and intubation models, and humane curriculums. Ensuring that students can pursue a humane science education at all levels will allow them to enter the field of science and be a part of the humane and effective science of the future.
To borrow from the ESEC loan library, please fill out the Loan Library Agreement Form and send it to NEAVS or email it to email@example.com. A credit card is required for security purposes; however, there is no charge if you return the borrowed item on or before the due date and in its original condition.