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Indiana: Student Choice Dissection Bill Introduced

Indiana: Student Choice Dissection Bill Introduced 

Name: Student's Informed Consent to Decline Participation in Dissection

Bill Number: HB 1537

As part of its CHOICE (Compassionate Humane Options in Classroom Education) initiative, NAVS continues to reach out to legislators in states that do not currently have a statewide law or policy in place that guarantees students in grades K-12 the right to use an alternative instead of dissecting an animal in the classroom. In Indiana, Rep. Hatcher has introduced a bill that would require all public and private schools—including grade schools and postsecondary educational institutions—to develop a written student choice policy that would allow students to decline to participate in any dissection, vivisection, incubation, infliction of harm or destruction of an animal. It would also require that students be allowed to decline to observe any invasive procedures or experiments on animals, and instead be given an alternative method for learning the course material.

In addition, this bill contains requirements regarding notification of students, parents and teachers of this policy, and exempts students from taking exams on any dissected or vivisected specimens.

This bill is an excellent basis for student choice in the state of Indiana and needs your support to move forward.


Call to Actions:  

  1. Please contact your state Representative and urge them to support this important legislation.
  2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.



  • Your State Representative or Representatives


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Please give students a choice about dissection

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask you to support legislation that would give all students in Indiana schools a choice of whether or not to participate in dissection and vivisection for classroom activities. While some schools or teachers may already have policies in place to accommodate student requests for an alternative to animal dissection, it is not true throughout the state. Students in one school may find accommodation for their individual ethical or religious beliefs, but students in another school may face a failing grade in science for acting on those beliefs.

Advancements in computer software now make it possible for schools to respect each student's ethical, moral or religious position regarding the humane treatment of animals without sacrificing learning objectives. Moreover, the cost of using alternatives instead of using animal specimens is generally much lower and the alternatives are not single use. They can be used many times by multiple students, making them cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

In an article published in the "American Biology Teacher" journal, a survey showed that a majority of teachers have an interest in using alternatives, and over a third of biology students preferred the use of alternatives over animal specimens, when given a choice.

Please do not make students choose between their moral convictions and the study of science. Vote "yes" to ensure that students in Indiana have access to these alternatives and can exercise their informed consent to request them instead of participating in animal dissection or vivisection in the classroom.

Thank you for your consideration.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]