On Tuesday, June 16, a professor of Veterinary Medicine in the Shushtar Branch of Azad University in Southwest Iran was criticized by students for killing a healthy dog for the purposes of a dissection lesson.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, the dog was still conscious after receiving several doses of anesthesia, and only finally died after the professor cut into its leg vein. Students who have criticized the killing and have posted images of the dissected animal online have been threatened by the school’s administration with expulsion.
Students at Azad University have also said that last year a donkey in the same class was killed in the same way. According to student posts online, the animal stumbled around the room for several hours after being beheaded before it died.
In 2019, all three Ministries of Science, Education, and Health issued directives restricting the use of live animals in laboratories and classrooms. The language of the Ministry of Education’s directive is significantly more decisive than its counterparts; it declares that the use of living beings for education is prohibited without exception. The circular of the Ministry of Health, however, despite emphasizing the importance of first seeking out alternative methods that do not harm the animals, states that it is ultimately up to the teachers to use their best judgement.
According to students in the class, the female dog did not have any specific diseases and the teacher had confirmed the dog’s health after the examination. The professor has as of yet not been reprimanded by the school.