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

A class case study of using animals in research in a year 7–8 class.
www.biotechlearn.org.nz/themes/bioethics/ethics_of_using_animals_in_research

New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Act, summarised by MAF Biosecurity
www.biosecurity.govt.nz/legislation/animal-welfare-act/index.htm

This news item on the Biotechnology Learning Hub describes how four scientists have received an award for developing a test that may help replace mice used in shellfish toxin tests.
www.biotechlearn.org.nz/...award_recognises_alternative_to_animal_tests

An article about animal use at Otago University: University’s death toll – 25 000 animals in two years.
www.nzherald.co.nz/science/news/article.cfm?c_id=82&objectid=10789857

A response by Siouxsie Wiles to the above article.
http://sciblogs.co.nz/infectious-thoughts/...theres-a-surprise

An article about who uses animals in testing.
www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/...ethics-report-details-who-uses-animals-testing

2014 Media release from the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee shows the number of animals used in research, testing and teaching is decreasing.
www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/naeac-annual-report-released

 

    Published 4 September 2012, Updated 10 October 2014