Stop Killing Frogs in Science Labs in Pakistan

Frog dissection is a common practice in our schools and colleges that I believe should be banned now.
Every year, millions of frogs and other animals lose their life just to teach biology students how to save humanity. Each frog that is cut open and discarded represents less love for science and more animal abuse, especially today when there are multiple alternatives available to give practical knowledge of human anatomy to medical students.

Dissection contributes to the decline of frogs and other amphibian populations across the world. Considering that, sane voices are often heard in many countries objecting the use of real, dead, or preserved frogs for dissection practices.

In America, there is a public charity named ‘Save The Frogs!’ that has been on a mission since 2008 to protect frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and other amphibian species around the world. The organization is run by an international team of naturalists, educators, scientists, and policymakers.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have suggested multiple alternates such as The Digital Frog, Anatomy of Clay, Dissection Works, Body Works, and others that can take frogs off the dissecting tables. Other than that, books such as ‘The Anatomy Coloring Book’ and ‘The Zoology Coloring Book’ can also play their part in teaching the internal anatomy of both men and animals to students.

A great development took place last week when a Florida-based school became the first in the world to use synthetic frogs for dissection. The innovation came from a Tampa company named ‘SynDaver’ that is famous for its lifelike cadavers for education and research purposes. Dr. Christopher Sakezles, founder and CEO of SynDaver says, “SynFrog not only looks and feels like a real frog, but it’s also physically safer to dissect than a real preserved frog because it doesn’t contain potentially harmful chemicals like formalin,”

It won’t be unjust to say that science students now can get complete knowledge of human anatomy and biological processes through artificial or non-animal teaching methods. To my understanding, science labs in schools and colleges with computer simulations, charts, films, projected presentations, and frog-like models may engage students better than those with frog cadavers and serious infections.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have suggested multiple alternates such as The Digital Frog, Anatomy of Clay, Dissection Works, Body Works, and others that can take frogs off the dissecting tables. Other than that, books such as ‘The Anatomy Coloring Book’ and ‘The Zoology Coloring Book’ can also play their part in teaching the internal anatomy of both men and animals to students.

Frog Dissection in Pakistan

The news of the two men arrested with 185kg worth of dead and alive frogs is not so old. Initially, it was claimed that the frogs were supplied in different restaurants in Lahore but was later held ‘untrue’ as the frogs were to be supplied in different medical institutions. Since it’s not a crime to have frogs with you in Pakistan, the two men were released.

It’s true that the practice of dissecting real frogs is common not just in Pakistan but throughout the world. But, should we wait until we are the only country left to use synthetic or artificial frogs for dissection? Why not we become the second after that Florida school?

It sounds good if students make frogs their best friend and don’t dissect them. They speak up against the practice and set a campaign to take real frogs off the table. This will eventually build pressure on institutions to ponder over the matter. However, it will bring students and teachers face to face, especially when teachers will force students to attend the dissection practices and the students are to abandon them.

What if the government takes the initiative and imposes a ban to use real frogs in dissection practices? What if the ban compels educational and research institutions in Pakistan to use artificial frogs, virtual dissection, and other methods suggested above? Upgrading the practices of biological sciences in the country, it will also be a great contribution to save the endangered member of amphibians’ family!

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