Woon S.-Y. "Sy". A veterinary student's perspective concerning educational animal use and the potential for humane alternatives. Paper presented at: The Three Rs - Together it's possible. 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences; 2011 Aug 21-25; Montreal, Canada


Veterinary students internationally, as well as students from other life and health science disciplines, are provided with a range of learning tools. In particular, the use of animals offers a unique privilege, allowing students to practice technical or clinical skills and learn through physical exploration and investigation of living organisms. Yet, the animals obtained may not always be ethically-sourced, and the purposes for which they are supplied may not always be humane, or educationally necessary. Significant animal welfare benefits accrue when institutions or courses cease the killing of animals for teaching purposes. However, the sourcing of living animals and cadavers may continue to pose ethical and welfare problems. The necessity and effectiveness of these modes of teaching therefore re¬quire further examination, especially given the availability of alternative teaching tools and methodologies that safeguard the welfare of animals. Tools such as video demonstrations or computer simulations may potentially be available yet disregarded in lieu of traditional teaching methods. Student attitudes may also be conditioned in favour of harmful animal use. Often, alternative technologies are perceived as supplementary to the use of animals, rather than accepted as viable replacements to advance student learning and contribute to reduction of animal use. Within Australia, the University of Sydney has been at the forefront of efforts to introduce humane veterinary curricula. This presentation provides the perspective of a University of Sydney veterinary student on the potential application to veterinary education of current and developing humane alternatives, and the advantages and drawbacks these may present.

Author's contacts: swoo9768@uni.sydney.edu.au

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Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation