Many students make the decision not to participate in animal dissections
The idea of performing dissections on animals or animal body parts is something that many people find distressing or confronting for various reasons, including ethical beliefs regarding the lives of animals. Teaching staff are aware of potential concerns surrounding dissection and are equipped to provide students with alternatives.
" I did two Biology subjects in my first year at Melbourne Uni and I was really worried when I heard the practicals sometimes involved dissecting animals. In first semester, I spoke to my tutor about the fact that I was ethically opposed to killing and using animals and she recommended that I speak to the subject coordinator. I was allowed to use a computer program with photos of mouse anatomy rather than performing the dissections of mice and when it came to a prac in which we were supposed to dissect a sheep's heart, I was allowed to make a model of a heart instead. In second semester, I approached the subject coordinator for that subject directly and she told me I could make an informative booklet instead of dissecting a squid and also said that I didn't have to participate in a prac which involved killing flies.
While I did initially encounter some resistance - I had to undergo some questioning as to my motivations for conscientiously objecting - the process of requesting an alternative option was definitely worth it. I learnt just as much about animal anatomy as my classmates and my marks did not suffer. Best of all, I was able to learn without supporting animal exploitation. "
- Eliza, 3rd year Arts student