Animal rights campaign group PETA has called for teachers at Aspire Academy to scrap plans to hold a pig dissection event.
The Blackpool Old Road’s school hall is set to be turned into an operating theatre when youngsters from across the coast cut open brains, carry out a heart operation, and conduct a liver examination next week.
And while bosses there described it as a way to inspire and teach pupils, PETA said it was ‘crude and archaic’, and urged the school to use computer simulations instead.
Science policy advisor Dr Julia Baines said: “Nearly every comparative study published has found that students who are taught both basic and advanced biological concepts using non-animal methods ... learn as well as or better than their peers who dissect animals.
“If medical students can be trained in anatomy, surgery, physiology, and pharmacology without the use of animals, Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT) [which runs Aspire] certainly can as well.”
John Topping, community relations boss at FCAT, said the event was an ‘excellent opportunity for a large number of youngsters to be inspired and to aspire to great careers and further learning’. He said: “Schooling should be all about giving young people a range of different and varied learning opportunities so that they can go on to achieve great things in life.”
Around 65 pupils with an interest in medical careers will take part in the event on Tuesday and Wednesday.
ITAE Group, the organiser, said it takes animal welfare ‘very seriously’, and said all its samples are from UK slaughtered animals raised to its own welfare practices.
“All samples are by-products of the meat production industry and salvage materials which would otherwise be sent for incineration,” it added.