Catholic schools in Windsor, Ontario have begun using technology to conduct virtual dissections instead of using animals’ actual bodies.
With the technology, students can poke around full digital renderings of frog and fetal pig bodies that are equipped with all of the animals’ organs.
The Windsor Essex Catholic District School board says it will completely phase out frog and fetal pig dissection in its schools over the next two years.
“Animal dissection is academically unnecessary and, despite its prevalence in North American schools, it is not practiced worldwide,” Dan Fister, executive superintendent of innovation and experiential learning, told the CBC. “We believe this is a more ethical, humane and engaging way to teach students science.”
Specific costs to introduce the new program have not been revealed, but Dr. Charu Chandrasekera, the University of Windsor’s executive director of the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods program (CCAAM), told CBC that a lot of fundraising and planning was required to make it happen.
Therefore, it’s unclear if other school districts — either in Windsor or elsewhere in Canada — will embrace a similar virtual dissection initiative.