These resources may be used to support campaigns for humane teaching methods. Many have supported successful campaigns at universities in Australia, the US, and elsewhere.



Knight, A. 2002. The use of pound dogs in veterinary surgical training. In Knight, A. (Ed.) 2002. Learning Without Killing: A Guide to Conscientious Objection.
Download (29 Kb, 2 pp).

A summary of the arguments against the use of pound dogs in veterinary surgical training, and of alternative surgical programs.

Quain, A. 2000. The real thing: A discussion on the use of pound dogs in the veterinary science curriculum. In Knight, A. (Ed.) 2002. Learning Without Killing: A Guide to Conscientious Objection.
Download (133 Kb, 12 pp).

The cases for and against the use of pound dogs in veterinary surgical training, and an examination of the extent to which both traditional and alternative surgical programs can provide satisfactory training, are examined in this outstanding essay by University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science Class of 2005 student and honors philosophy graduate Anne Quain; who concludes that the use of pound-sourced or purpose-bred animals is neither necessary nor desirable.

Balcombe, J. 1999. A global overview of law and policy concerning animal use in education. Proceedings: 3rd World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, Bologna, Italy August 29 - September 2, 1999.
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Describes animal use in education and relevant legislation in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.


Larson, S. (Ed.) 1998. Beyond Dissection: Innovative Teaching Tools for Biology Education. (3rd Edn.). Boston, MA, US: New England Anti-Vivisection Society. Compiled by the Ethical Science Education Coalition. 80 pp.

Alternatives grouped by species, discipline and body system. Excellent presentation.

NEAVS. 2000. Viewpoints 2000 Series - Veterinary Medicine. Boston, MA, US: NEAVS. 12 pp.

Outstanding personal stories of Holly Cheever DVM; Lara Rasmussen DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons; and Anne Ryelstone DVM, Ph.D; and other writings, illustrating the need for and the case for conscientious objection in veterinary education. An inspiring read for anyone interested in alternatives in veterinary medical education.


Knight A. Learning Without Killing: A Guide to Conscientious Objection. Unpublished 2002.
Download English/Spanish/Greek (1.3 Mb, 150 pp).

This guide to conscientious objection provides students with the resources they need to maximize their chances of success. It includes detailed information about humane alternatives and the reasons why they should be used – enough to make any student far more knowledgeable about the topic than their opponents; a detailed set of steps to follow when conscientiously objecting that should maximize a student’s chances of success; a set of 15 very inspiring stories from students around the world who have been highly successful in their own campaigns; a list of nine of the world’s best resources on humane alternatives and conscientious objection that may be found in the libraries of most Australian and New Zealand campuses that use animals in their teaching, and in the libraries of numerous animal rights groups worldwide; descriptions and internet addresses of some of the world’s best alternatives databases; descriptions and subscription instructions for some excellent humane education email lists; and a list of animal rights and other groups that may be able to offer further assistance to students.

Francione, G. and Charlton, A. 1992. Vivisection and Dissection in the Classroom: A Guide to Conscientious Objection. Jenkintown, PA, USA: American Anti-Vivisection Society. 136 pp.,

This was the book that taught me (Andrew Knight) that it was possible to beat my university, and taught me how to do it. It includes advice on how to tackle your university, and provides counter arguments to common objections to alternatives. Most of the book is dedicated to describing the legal avenues available to US students. Although US legislation is involved, the general legal principles may also be applicable in other countries.

Jukes, N. and Mihnea C. 2002. From Guinea Pig to Computer Mouse. Leicester, England: International Network of Individuals and Campaigns for Humane Education (InterNICHE).
Document link.

Contains around 500 alternatives for many classical teaching labs, listed by discipline. It is ideal for producing alternatives submissions. Several important chapters written by experts in the field also discuss various aspects of humane educational alternatives, and a comprehensive list of animal protection organizations worldwide is provided. An essential resource for humane education campaigners.

Balcombe JP. The Use of Animals in Higher Education: Problems: Alternatives and Recommendations. Washington, DC: Humane Society Press. 2000.
Download (2.06 mb, 104 pp.).

A fairly academic work with 350 citations. The evidence and arguments in favor of humane alternatives are presented logically and dispassionately and are overwhelming.

Hepner, L. 1994. Animals in Education - The Facts, Issues and Implications. Albuquerque, NM, US: Richmond Publishers. 311 pp.
Richmond Publishers has closed, however this book can be obtained from the author via

Filled with facts and figures about the sources of animals used in teaching, numbers of animals used, and ways in which they are used, although the information primarily relates to the US. The author’s story as a biology student successful in implementing alternatives on a wide scale at the University of New Mexico is given, along with detailed advice for other students in following in her footsteps.

Cost Comparisons

A Cost Comparison Between Animal Dissection and Humane Educational Alternatives. Animalearn, 2002.
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Study based on the needs of a typical biology department over a three-year period. Four of the most commonly dissected species - the frog, fetal pig, cat and dogfish - are given as examples. For three classes of 30 students each, every pair of students dissects each species once. Hence 45 frogs, 45 fetal pigs, 45 cats and 45 dogfish are needed annually, or 135 of each over a three year period. The costs of a range of humane educational alternatives for each species were also examined, although not all of these alternatives would be necessary in every educational setting. Dissection costs from WARD's Biology Catalog 2002 totaled $11,381.85. Humane alternative costs totaled $8,060.00. The saving over three years was $3,321.85.

Dissection vs. Alternatives: A Cost Comparison. HSUS.
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How does the cost of buying dead animals for dissection compare with buying humane alternatives? The figures are based on hypothetical school’s needs for a three-year period. Costs are based on a ratio of two students per animal dissected (45 animals a year, 135 animals over three years). The costs of a range of humane educational alternatives for each species were also examined, although not all of these alternatives would be necessary in every educational setting. This comparison assumes that the school already has computers, CD-ROM players, and VCRs. Low and high prices of preserved animals were obtained from the Carolina Biological Supply Company Catalog at (2002 prices) and the Alternatives (2002 prices) were selected from available lists, catalogs, websites and databases. Costs were: Cat dissection: $5308.50 - $9932.25. Cat alternatives: $2371.45. Cat savings: $2937.05 - $7560.80. Fetal pig dissection: $2244 - $3553.50. Fetal pig alternatives: $2010.45. Fetal pig savings: $233.55 - $1543.05. Bullfrog dissection: $2514 - $3465.75. Bullfrog alternatives: $2906.40. Savings: -$392.40 - $559.35.


Humane teaching methods.

A powerpoint presentation on alternatives in education and conscientious objection by Andrew Knight.


Hunt, G. 2000. W
orking Party on the Use of Animals for Teaching Applied Anatomy, Small Animal Surgery and Anaesthesia – Final Report. Unpublished.

This very progressive University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science report proposed changes to the surgical curriculum – most of which have since occurred, including the elimination of all terminal surgical labs in 2000. The report includes the very progressive 2000 Faculty of Veterinary Science Policy for Animal Use in Teaching Applied Anatomy, Small Animal Surgery and Anaesthesia, which supports conscientious objection. This report with its exceedingly forward thinking and progressive recommendations and Policy have set the standard for the future of Australian veterinary surgical training. Permission was gained from the Working Party Chair to distribute this report.

University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science, Australia. 2008. University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science guidelines on ethical concerns on use of animals in teaching.
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A conscientious objection policy. Others are listed in Learning Without Killing: A Guide to Conscientious Objection.

University of Wollongong, Australia. 2003. Policy on ethical objection by students to the use of animals and animal products in coursework subjects.
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A conscientious objection policy. Others are listed in Learning Without Killing: A Guide to Conscientious Objection.


Knight, A. 1998. Submission to the Murdoch University Working Party on Conscientious Objection in Teaching and Assessment.
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On the 11th of November, 1998, Western Australia’s Murdoch University took the groundbreaking step of formally allowing conscientious objection by students to animal experimentation or other areas of their coursework. Murdoch is, to my knowledge, the first Australian university to formally take this step. Student representatives on the University’s governing Academic Council had successfully called for the establishment of a working party into conscientious objection in teaching and assessment, which in turn called for submissions on the issue. This is my (Andrew Knight’s) submission. It gives reasons for the adoption of a conscientious objection policy, a discussion of the definition of conscientiously held beliefs, advice for assessing student claims of conscientious objection, and for disseminating information about the policy to students and staff, along with supporting information about humane educational methodologies. The only extra feature provided in the paper version is a photocopied letter providing information about the lack of harmful animal usage in UK veterinary training.

Knight, A. 1999. Alternatives to the Harmful Use of Animals in Physiology Teaching Laboratories: A Submission to Murdoch University’s Division of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences. Unpublished.
Download (287 Kb, 122 pp).

Lists 163 alternatives for nine physiology labs (these are classical physiology labs which have a wide degree of repetition amongst physiology courses worldwide), and examines the arguments for and against use of alternatives, and describes some of the Australian and overseas courses where alternatives are successfully used. An earlier version submitted to Murdoch’s ethics committee was successful in getting almost all of the physiology vivisection labs stopped. A useful model for others, and contains a lot of reusable information. The paper form has photocopied lists of alternatives from the book From Guinea Pig to Computer Mouse (the Alternatives in Education Database alternatives are available electronically), and articles, letters and lab guides describing the use of alternatives in physiology teaching at the University of Sydney, the University of Adelaide, the University of Melbourne, the UK, Switzerland and Germany.

Knight, A. 2000. Ethically-Sourced Cadaver Surgery – A Submission to Murdoch University’s Division of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences. Unpublished.
Download (151 Kb, 100 pp).

A two page covering letter, followed by approx. 10 pp. of excellent quotes from the following 75 pp. of photocopied articles etc. from the published literature on cadaver surgical programs, educational memorial (body donation) programs etc., in North American vet schools. Also includes the very progressive full report of the University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science Working Party on the Use of Animals for Teaching Applied Anatomy, Small Animal Surgery and Anaesthesia (9pp), which proposed the introduction of a cadaver surgical program (amongst other alternative teaching methods) and the establishment of a body donation program. This report was ratified in 2000, when all terminal surgical labs were ended. This alternatives submission is ideal for reuse by those wanting to encourage their vet schools to introduce ethically-sourced cadaver programs (client donation programs) for surgical or other veterinary training. The paper form includes the 75 pp. of photocopied articles etc. from the academic literature.

Knight, A. 2002. The Establishment of an Educational Memorial Program: A Submission to the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Unpublished.
Download (478 Kb, 38 pp).

A detailed proposal for the establishment of an Educational Memorial Program (EMP) for the ethical sourcing of cadavers from animals euthanized for medical reasons in the VMRCVM teaching hospital, for use in anatomy and alternative surgical instruction. Drawn primarily from the experiences of anatomy instructors and other faculty at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, as described at, and the University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science, where EMPs have already been successfully established. Covers ethical concerns about traditional sources of cadavers for veterinary education, existing EMPs, educational benefits of cadavers, client relations, cadaver procurement, establishment of an EMP, embalming protocols, and more. Needs updating to include a description of the new Western University of Health Sciences (LA) school of veterinary medicine EMP.


Anonymous. 2001. 2001 Veterinary Student Report. Massey University (New Zealand). Unpublished.
Download (173 Kb, 18 pp).

The survey questionnaire and report of the opinions of third, fourth and fifth year vet students about the learning value of the third year terminal physiology labs, organized by veterinary Class of 2002 student Jessica Beer with the co-operation of the veterinary college. Prior to this survey 68 sheep were killed annually. Due to this survey two of the six labs were stopped immediately in 2002 and the other four were changed to demonstration labs, killing eight sheep annually. In 2004 the Physiology Department intends to end those labs as well. The Massey University questionnaire and survey report provide outstanding examples of how to design a survey questionnaire, statistically analyze the survey results, and present the information in the form of a scientific report. It would be very, very easy to adapt the Massey questionnaire and survey report for use elsewhere.

Stull, L. 2000. Illinois Vet School Survey – Student Quotes Re: Physiology Labs. Unpublished.
Download (73 Kb, 9 pp).

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, 1999: The survey of the opinions of vet students about the learning value of the first year terminal physiology labs, organised by Class of 2002 veterinary student Linnaea Stull with the co-operation of the veterinary college. The survey results, and in particular the student comments, provide outstanding ammunition against the laboratories. The labs, in which over 100 animals died annually, were all stopped in 2000 following the delivery of Linnaea’s alternatives submission and media coverage. My electronic version has student comments only, the paper form also has survey questions and statistical breakdowns of student answers.


EuroNICHE. 1999. Alternatives in Education: New Approaches for a New Millenium. Leicester, England: EuroNICHE. 33 minutes.
Document link.

This outstanding video shows the state of the art of the alternatives available in 1999 in disciplines such as anatomy, physiology and surgery. It shows them being successfully used by students and academics, several of whom are interviewed. Particularly valuable are the statements by several very highly qualified academics strongly supporting humane alternatives.

PCRM. 1997. Advances in Medical Education. Washington, DC: PCRM. 18 minutes.

This extremely inspiring video is particularly relevant to medical students and relates the story of how students at Harvard medical school got a cardiovascular physiology dog vivisection lab replaced with operating room observation of real surgeries.

This HSUS web site provides a wealth of information about Educational Memorial Programs (EMPs), also known as ‘Willed Body Donation Programs,’ ‘Client Donation Programs,’ and ‘Body Donation Programs.’ These are programs that acquire cadavers for anatomy, surgery or other teaching purposes from client-owned animals who died from natural causes or were euthanased for medical reasons.

A selection of excellent alternatives in clinical skills (31 Kb, Download) and diagnostic training (18 Kb, Download) from the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR; now the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association).

A selection of excellent alternatives in surgical training from AVAR.
Download (39 Kb).

A selection of excellent alternatives in anatomy from AVAR.
Download (21 Kb).