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In this activity, students consider the use of mice for bioassays and in establishing the lethal dose when researching/testing toxins. They consider the rights and responsibilities of all those affected by these methods and make a decision as to whether mice should be used in researching and testing for toxins.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • identify the use of animals in research or testing as a controversial issue
  • demonstrate a scientific understanding of the controversial issue
  • make a decision as to whether mice should be used in testing for toxins and be able to justify their decision.

Download the Word file (see link below) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • student handout.

Useful links

Ethics and research animals is a class case study of using animals in research in a year 7–8 class.

Read about legal aspects of animal welfare on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

A New Zealand Herald article about animal use at Otago University: University’s death toll – 25,000 animals in 2 years and a response by Siouxsie Wiles.

An Otago Daily Times article about who uses animals in testing.


    Published 4 September 2012, Updated 10 October 2014 Referencing Hub articles