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.

New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Act, summarised by MPI  

An article about animal use at Otago University: University’s death toll – 25 000 animals in two years.

A response by Siouxsie Wiles to the above article.

An article about who uses animals in testing.

2014 Media release from the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee shows the number of animals used in research, testing and teaching is decreasing.


    Published 4 September 2012, Updated 10 October 2014