Dissection of animals

Advice about dissecting animals for an educational purpose.

Dissection of animals is not mandated by any NESA syllabus.

No live animals may be acquired or bred for the sole purpose of dissection. Animals that have been euthanased because of age, illness or injury may be dissected. Any other circumstances require prior SACEC approval.

Teachers wishing to use dissection as a teaching activity can do so in any of the following ways:

  • Whole dead animals that have been purchased from the butcher, supermarket, fish market or abattoir, e.g. chickens, fish, crustaceans
  • Animal parts that have been purchased from the butcher, supermarket or abattoir, e.g. kidneys, hearts, livers, lungs
  • Prepared specimens that have been purchased from biological suppliers, e.g. frozen rats
  • Plant or other non-animal material that may help develop dexterity and proficiency in using instruments.

No student can be compelled to undertake dissection of a dead animal. Students who select not to be involved in a dissection must be offered an alternative activity that allows them to achieve the same outcome.


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