PETA Protests DeSoto ISD Dissection Program

PETA protests animal dissection
Members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) led a demonstration in opposition to the district's animal dissection program.

Animals Rights Advocates Urge School District To End Dissection Program

DESOTO—Prior to Monday’s DeSoto Independent School District Board of Trustees Meeting, local members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) led a demonstration in front of the Administration Building. The group met in opposition to the district’s animal dissection program.

According to PETA spokesperson Tas Bruner, the protest followed a letter to administration urging the district to end its animal-dissection program and embrace humane science education by using computer-based teaching tools instead. Letters were sent by TeachKind, PETA’s humane education division, urging DeSoto and other school districts that acquired animals from Bio Corporation—a dissection-specimen supplier to end animal dissection.

“Animal dissection teaches kids that living beings are disposable and downplays the fact that animals are often violently killed for these exercises,” says Associate Director Rachelle Owen. “PETA is calling on DeSoto schools to stop encouraging students to mutilate corpses and to implement superior digital-dissection programs and interactive simulations instead.”

District officials released a written statement just hours before the demonstration.

“DeSoto ISD appreciates the concerns of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization as relates to our use of animals in class dissection projects. We are reviewing the best practices of the related curriculum across our and area districts and we will communicate a decision to parents, students and community regarding future use of such specimens.”

Specimen Supplier Accused Of Inhumane Practices

In November 2017, A PETA eyewitness investigation of Minnesota-based Bio Corporation uncovered workers drowning conscious pigeons in a vat of water, injecting live crayfish with liquid latex dye to kill them, and discussing how frozen turtles shipped to the facility sometimes came “back to life” and were then refrozen. The company’s workers also kept dozens of dead cats’ collars hanging from a shelf as a “tradition.”

Protest organizers say, companies such as Bio Corporation continue these hideous practices because schools continue to purchase animals for dissection, even though modern and humane alternatives exist and are increasingly being adopted.

PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on,” notes that non-animal educational tools have been shown to teach anatomy as well as—and, in many cases, better than—dissection.