Target: President of Northern Virginia Community College, Dr. Robert Templin, Jr.
Goal: Discontinue the dissection of animals in biology classes
Animal dissection in science classes is nothing new. Many schools across the nation are discontinuing this practice, but the United States’ second-largest community college has not. Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) is one of the largest educational institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with over 41 thousand students at six different campuses and centers across the DC metropolitan area. For the second level of their Introduction to Biology class, students are required to dissect fetal pigs. The class is required for many Associate of Science degrees, and the dissection cannot be avoided. For other biology classes, cats are used for dissection. Students are required to purchase the animals at the school bookstore and store them until use.
Nationwide, animals that are supplied for dissection are sometimes fetuses whose mothers were pregnant while sent to slaughter. Other times, they come from pounds and animal shelters, or they are lost or abandoned house pets. Sometimes animals are gassed for the sole purpose of dissection.
Sadly, there is no way to escape this course requirement in the biology classes at NVCC. Requiring students to purchase and dissect deceased animals is unethical. Write NVCC leaders and tell them to follow in the footsteps of other colleges by discontinuing the dissection of animals.
Dear Dr. Robert Templin,
Many of the biology classes at Northern Virginia Community College require students to dissect cats or fetal pigs. Many educational institutions across the nation are discontinuing this practice. I urge your school to do the same.
Dissection of animals violates the ethics of many students at NVCC, yet for many biology courses, they are required to partake in this practice. Students are even forced to financially support it by purchasing animals at the school bookstore. Requiring students to purchase and house preserved animals is intrusive on the lives of the students and their families or roommates. Other alternatives, such as diagrams and dummies, are available for use and should be used in place of pigs and cats.
NVCC is a wonderful school with high esteem. Please honor and respect your students and animals by discontinuing dissection in all science classes at the school.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Dirty Bodega via Flickr