Animal Experimentation Policy Contact Me
Maths & Statistics

The Animal Experimentation Policy applies to both Internal Assessment and the Extended Essay. Before you start work on either one of these pieces of work, you should familiarise yourself with the policy; there is also the Ethical Practice poster which needs to be read.

The policy has arisen from a need to prevent schools from subjecting animals to unnecessary stress or harm. Although it has limited certain experiments, I am wholeheartedly in favour of it as I have marked Internal Assessment where awful things were done to animals and anything that can be done to prevent animal cruelty is a good thing. To clarify things, humans and invertebrates are animals and the same rules apply (you'd be surprised what I'm asked sometimes).

In a nutshell, you can't: subject animals to stress, harm, chemicals, conditions they wouldn't experience in their natural habitat (this includes feeding them or making them drink things that would not be considered healthy or part of their normal diet) or kill them for the purpose of an experiment.

In practice, this means that:

  • Experiments using animals are strongly discouraged but if you do use an animal, you must be able to prove that they would not be harmed in any way (this is very difficult to do as it can be quite subjective).
  • If you use human test subjects, you will need to get a signed consent form (I insist that if the person is a minor that a parents or legal guardian sign the form) which includes a description of the activity and a declaration that there is no pre-existing medical condition which would make the experiment dangerous; you must also do a thorough risk assessment. You will never be allowed to modify someone's diet either, this could have very unhealthy consequences.
  • Any animal product, such as organs for dissections, must come from the food trade. This means the animal is not killed for the sole purpose of the experiment.
  • Most experiments will revolve around plants, bacteria, fungi, animals (or parts of) from the food trade and sensible experiment involving humans.

I will never let you proceed with an experiment or even plan one that involves any breach of the Animal Experimentation Policy so you must run anything past me which may contravene the rules set out in the policy. I take a very strict approach to make sure that none of my students will ever be accused of causing harm or distress to any animal.

Always remember that this policy was designed to prevent animal cruelty and not to prevent the enjoyment or teaching of students so don't get frustrated if I say you can't do an experiment because of it: there are often alternatives that will achieve the same overall result but won't harm any animals.