NABT president moves against dissection alternatives

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1993:

RESTON, Virginia –– National Association of Biology
Teachers members’ comments were due April 1 on proposed major revi-
sions to the organization’s 1989 Position Statements on Animal Use. I f
adopted, the revisions would effectively overturn NABT’s policy of encour-
aging teachers to seek alternatives to dissection and vivsection.
The 1989 statement begins, “NABT believes that all biology teachers
should foster a respect for life,” and continues to state in the second para-
graph that, “NABT supports alternatives to dissection and vivisection
wherever possible in the biology curricula. These alternatives must satisfy
the objectives of teaching scientific methology and fundamental biological

The proposed new statement would open, “NABT believes that
the study of whole organisms, including nonhuman animals, is essential to
understanding life on earth,” adding that, “NABT acknowledges that no
alternative can substitute for the actual experience of dissection, and urges
teachers to be aware of the limitations of alternatives.”
The proposed new statement was drafted by NABT president Joe
McInerney, who was elected shortly after the current statement was adopt-
ed, and has worked to overturn it ever since. In 1991 McInerney influ-
enced NABT to adopt a Clarification of the Current Position Statement,
including a passage explaining that “the policy does not advocate the aboli-
tion of dissection.”
McInerney recently spent nine months as Science Education
Office Director for the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health
Administration, working directly under arch-foe of animal protection
Frederick Goodwin (who was demoted last year after making a speech
likening inner city youths to monkeys).
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