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The Physicians Committee



Download this fact sheet Cost Analysis of Dissection Versus Nonanimal Teaching Methods

As more and more educators explore the benefits of nonanimal alternatives to dissection, software companies respond by developing ever more impressive technologies. New programs offer stunning educational advantages while reducing costs and decreasing reliance on animals. Alternatives cost thousands less than dissection, last for years, and several groups of students can use them simultaneously during each academic year. With nonanimal dissection methods, students can perform the lessons at their own speed, easily make-up missed classes, and review the programs until they have a firm grasp of the material. Students gain considerable computer experience and teachers have the flexibility to choose the anatomical detail appropriate for their class and grade level.

Although the initial cost of implementing a computer system is sometimes higher than that of dissection, over time, school systems reap financial benefits as multiple groups of students can use these same programs year after year. The following chart describes the average expense of using alternatives vs. traditional animal dissection over a 5-year period.

Frog

Dissection Works Deluxe*

Animal Dissection

1st year (initial purchase)

$2099

$1,146

2nd year

$0

$310.50

3rd year

$0

$310.50

4th year

$0

$310.50

5th year

$0

$310.50

Total cost:

$2099

$2,387

* DissectionWorks Deluxe is a top-end package that offers numerous dissection alternatives and can be used by various science classrooms during the same school year.

For administrators of elementary and secondary schools, budget concerns may become the greatest impetus for introducing alternatives to animal dissection. As budgets become smaller, computerized laboratories can alleviate the cost of maintaining a yearly animal supply. In the process these programs allow younger pupils to learn about animal anatomy and ecosystems at an earlier stage in science education. Instead of supplying the animals to one or two 8th grade classrooms, schools can incorporate innovative and technologically advanced teaching techniques into the science curriculum in lower grades. Students will not only have the opportunity to learn about the life sciences in early education, they will gain computer skills and see their application in the field of science.

Listed below are estimated cost savings for some of the most common animal dissections. Note that computer alternatives are one-time investments while animals and some dissection materials must be purchased every year. For more information on the alternatives below, please visit www.DissectionAlternatives.org, or contact the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine at 202-686-2210.

ANIMAL

ALTERNATIVE AND COST

DISSECTION AND COST
(30 STUDENTS)

COST SAVINGS AFTER 5 YEARS **

Frog

DissectionWorks Deluxe *
$2,099

The Digital Frog2
$899

Operation: Frog (Deluxe) $659

VisiFrog
$559

Dissection Set
$444

Dissection Pans
$385

Dissection Pins
$6

30 Frogs
(per year for 5 years)
$1,552

Total Cost
$2,387

Total Savings
$288
to
$1,828

Fetal Pig

DissectionWorks Deluxe *
$2,099

Fetal Pig by Ventura
$560

Dissection Set
$444

Dissection Pans
$568

Dissection Pins
$6

Hook and Chain Set
$66

30 Fetal Pigs
(per year for 5 years)
$2,100

Total Cost
$3,184

Total Savings
$1,085
to
$2,624

Cat

Cat Dissection Lab
$5,500

CatWorks
$1500

Cat Lab
$1,500

Dissection Set
$444

Dissection Pans
$568

Dissection Pins
$6

Hook and Chain Set
$66

30 Cats
(per year for 5 years)
$4,650

Total Cost
$5,734

Total Savings
$234
to
$4,234

Earthworm

The Earthworm by Ventura
$560

Dissection Set
$444

Dissection Pans
$385

Dissection Pins
$6

30 Earthworms
(per year for 5 years)
$130

Total Cost
$965

Total Savings
$405

Crayfish and Perch *

Marine Life:
Anatomy of a Fish

$560

Dissection Set
$444

Dissection Pans
$385

Dissection Pins
$6

30 Crayfish
(per year for 5 years)
$1,095

Total Cost
$1,930

Total Savings
$1,370

* DissectionWorks Delux includes 5 animal dissection simulations - frog, fetal pig, earthworm, crayfish and perch.
** Assumes annual replacement of animals and no replacement of equipment.

This site does not provide medical or legal advice. This Web site is for informational purposes only.
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The Physicians Committee
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste.400, Washington DC, 20016
Phone: 202-686-2210     Email: pcrm@pcrm.org