RSPCA Policy D4 Animals in education

4.1RSPCA Australia supports and encourages animal welfare education at all stages of formal education, in order to improve understanding of the principles of animal welfare, foster a positive attitude towards animals and help prevent acts of cruelty.
4.2RSPCA Australia supports and encourages the use of alternatives to the use of animals, living or dead, in teaching wherever possible, both to introduce the concepts of reduction, refinement and replacement at an early stage, and to reduce the burden of animal suffering.
4.3Preschool, primary and secondary education
4.3.1RSPCA Australia does not support the keeping, breeding or use of living animals in pre-schools or schools other than agricultural high schools. In general there are insufficient facilities and trained staff to adequately protect the welfare of animals in this setting (including such aspects as housing, proper handling, veterinary care and humane killing).
4.3.2RSPCA Australia regards the killing of animals for use in schools for dissection or other teaching purposes as unnecessary as many alternatives are available.
4.4Tertiary education
4.4.1The use of animals in interventional studies in tertiary education should be minimised. There should be a strong focus on the principles of reduction, refinement and replacement, and students must be able to opt-out of activities involving animals without risk of academic penalty. Wherever possible, teaching methods employing alternatives to the use of animals should be employed.
4.4.2RSPCA Australia advocates that there should be a clearly defined animal welfare component in all vocational animal-related courses, science and veterinary degrees.

(adopted 01/08/08)

Updated on January 15, 2019
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