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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Comment: Alternatives to Harmful Animal Use in Tertiary Education


Andrew Knight

On 11 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 take this formal step, and its decision will have ramifications for other Australian universities. Additionally, the University agreed to review the humane alternatives available in all 45 teaching units within its veterinary, biomedical and biological science courses that use animals. The recommendations of the review committee were approved on 15 September 1999. The report concluded that “Murdoch [University] was in a position to and should aim to conduct teaching that does not require animals to be killed specifically for this purpose by 2005”.