Whittaker AL, and Anderson GI. A policy at the University of Adelaide for student objections to the use of animals in teaching. J Vet Med Educ.2013 Spring;40(1):52-7.

PMID: 23475412


In veterinary medical education, the use of animals or cadaveric tissue as a component of teaching practice is common. Teachers are required, during the process of ethical review, to apply the 3 Rs principle (replacement, refinement, reduction) whenever they consider using animals during a teaching exercise. This often involves use of replacement strategies, such as utilization of video footage or simulation-based training. However, aside from legislative or ethical requirements imposed by a country's regulatory framework on the institution, students are often the key advocates for using alternative teaching practices that do not make use of animals. This has prompted many institutions with veterinary and other life sciences teaching programs to develop student-conscientious objection policies to the use of animals in teaching. In this article, we discuss the procedures implemented to make provision for student-conscientious objectors at a new Australian Veterinary School, at the University of Adelaide. We also describe the processes to provide information to students and faculty on this issue and to facilitate information gathering on alternatives.