This article outlines the position statements for the AAVMC from 2008-2014.
Although it is traditional to speak of the “3 Rs,” (Refinement, Reduction, and Replacement) the AAVMC recommends that students are taught to follow a 4th “R” as well:
Respect ~ the animal for the value of its life. Respect the animal for its contribution to science and medicine. Respect the animal for the privilege of learning from hands on manipulation of a living, breathing animal. Respect the animal that has been euthanized and make sure its body is handled and disposed of properly.
Companion animals share our homes and are an important part of our lives and families. In fact, over 72 million dogs and 82 million cats reside in U.S. households, and we spent over $41 billion on the needs of our companion animals in 2007, including food and veterinary care.
Nevertheless, a significant number of dogs and cats continue to be harmed or killed for use in research, testing, and education, even when there are effective and more humane methods available.
Other than their fate, there is little difference between the beagle or tabby who shares our home and is part of our family and the beagle or tabby who is vivisected in a teaching laboratory.
As such, the harm to companion animals in education raises ethical questions about the use of animals as “tools” for teaching, particularly when high quality, educationally effective, and ethically sourced alternatives are available.
by Catherine Tiplady
Article explaining the need for a fourth “R” — Respect, in the consideration of animal life in regard to scientific experimentation.
Animals should not be treated with disrespect, merely because they are surplus to the requirements of others.
In this report, Animalearn presents the most current, detailed information about the extent to which dogs and cats are used in higher education and the purposes for which they are used. The report focuses in particular on how these animals are obtained (through dealers, including biological supply companies, and pounds), and examines the reports of misconduct and animal mistreatment associated with these sources.
Comprehensive resources for implementing the latest humane, educationally sound alternatives in higher education curricula are also provided.
Animalearn also plans to release a case study to examine how well IACUCs are reviewing animal use protocols to minimize animal use and suffering.
This map shows the 18 US states that currently have legislation or policies that let high school students use alternatives rather than dissect an animal.