PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is offering to sponsor software that lets students poke around the innards of frogs — without actually, you know, poking around the innards of frogs. The offer is being made to schools and colleges in India that agree to give students a choice of cutting into real or virtual frog flesh — or indeed replacing traditional dissection with other “humane” alternatives.
The software in question — Frog Dissection — is made by Emantras, the company PETA is tying up with for the Indian initiative, and is priced at between $2.99 and $4.99 in the U.S. but will be offered free to classrooms in India that agree to offer non-animal dissection alternatives.
PETA says it’s targeting India for the free software as a follow up to recommendations by the country’s University Grants Commission (UGC) that animal dissection and experimentation should be phased out of labs over the long term. The UGC also recommends software alternatives to dissection should be developed.
“Countless frogs and other animals are killed for dissection, even though non-animal methods for teaching biology are far superior,” noted PETA India Science Policy Adviser, Dr Chaitanya Koduri, in a statement. “PETA India is eager to help universities and schools take the lead in teaching biology using humane, modern methods.”
Emantras’ software is available for PCs, Macs, iPads and interactive whiteboards. Key features are said to include “vivid” 3D imaging”, step-by-step dissection instructions, detailed info on frogs’ organs and “accurate simulation of the wet lab dissection procedure”.