The Environmental Impact of Dissection
Millions of animals are killed for classroom dissection each year so that students from elementary through high school and beyond can learn anatomy. Not only is this cruel and unnecessary, but it is not an environmentally sound practice.


Many of the frogs used for dissection are wild caught, disrupting the balance of ecosystems. Purpose-bred frogs are raised in conditions that encourage disease, which can spread to fragile wild amphibian populations.
The chemical compounds used to preserve animal specimens often contain formaldehyde, a "hazardous air pollutant, water pollutant, and waste constituent," according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Chemical production, the preserving process, and disposal of both chemicals and animal remains can contaminate water and soil and potentially harm wildlife and humans.
Millions of animals are shipped to schools to be used just one time in the classroom. Next year, millions more will again meet the same fate.
The preservative formaldehyde can be linked to cancers of the throat, lungs, and nasal passages, especially with prolonged or repeated exposure. Children may be more susceptible to the respiratory effects of formaldehyde than adults, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.


Encourage schools to use an economical Green Science Curriculum that incorporates alternatives to dissection and teaches young people to respect living things, the importance of wildlife conservation, and environmental protection.
By promoting the use of green alternatives to animal dissection, you are helping to make a positive impact on our environment. Animalearn’s free loan program, The Science Bank, is your #1 resource for dissection alternatives that can be used in classrooms to nurture an appreciation for wildlife and the environment. For more information, go to
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