Rhode Island SPCA

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Anti-Dissection and Vivisection Law in Rhode Island

Anti-Dissection and Vivisection Law in Rhode Island

Rhode Island passed a law enabling students to refuse to participate in dissection or vivisection of animals. The law is detailed below.

An excellent resource, as well, regarding alternatives can be found at:

Animal Welfare Institute


The Science Bank


Biology Education Advancement Program (Boolean) http://www.navs.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ain_edu_dissection_loan_program

Chapter 214

An Act Relating to Education Curriculum

Chapter 16-22 of the General Laws entitled “Curriculum” is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section: Animal dissection and vivisection–right to refuse–Alternate learning project required

(a) A parent(s) or legal guardian of any student in a public or non public primary or secondary school may refuse to allow their child to dissect or vivisect any vertebrate or invertebrate animal, or any part of a vertebrate or invertebrate animal.

(b) A school that offers dissection or vivisection as a learning activity shall permit those students whose parent(s) or legal guardians refuse to allow them to participate to demonstrate competency through an alternative method of learning the material that would be covered in the activity. Alternative materials and methods may include but not limited to: video tapes, models, films, books, computer programs, clay modeling or transparencies.

(c) A teacher shall not discriminate against a student for not participating in dissection or vivisection and shall not lower a grade because a student’s parent or legal guardian has chosen an alternative education project.