Philosophy of Animal Rights > Animal Testing - Index > School Labs - Index
New studies of harmful animal use and alternatives in education

I recently searched over 4,000 biomedical abstracts for studies of harmful animal use and alternatives in veterinary education. Studies relating to many other disciplines were located as well. In total over 400 relevant papers were located from the peer-reviewed literature. The results are now collated by academic discipline at

Of greatest use to those campaigning for humane teaching methods is:

Knight A, Balcombe J, De Boo J. Comparative studies of student performance: humane teaching methods demonstrate favourable educational efficacy when compared to harmful animal use in biomedical education. Animal Consultants International. Source: Knight A & De Boo J. Harmful animal use and humane alternatives in education: Educational studies and papers. Unpublished. 2006. Last updated: 22 Dec. 2006.

At least 31 studies sourced from the biomedical and educational literature, covering all educational levels and disciplines, have compared the ability of humane alternatives to impart knowledge or clinical or surgical skills. 35.5% (11/31) of these studies demonstrated that alternative students achieved superior learning outcomes, or achieved equivalent results more quickly, allowing time for additional learning. 58.1% (18/31) demonstrated equivalent educational efficacy, and only 6.5% (2/31) demonstrated inferior educational efficacy of humane alternatives. The design of one of the latter studies has been substantially criticized. 74 additional studies are also provided in which comparison with harmful animal use did not occur, demonstrating further educational efficacy, as well as staff time and cost savings and other important advantages of humane teaching methods.

Best wishes for 2007!

Andrew Knight

Animal Consultants International

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