Are animals ours to use? More specifically, is it acceptable to use them to do tests on? These are some of the questions posed by Year 11 student Scarlett Veevers during this week’s Senior Round Square meeting.

Humans have used animals for thousands of years, be it horses for travel and farming, dogs for companionship and hunting, and domesticated animals for food and clothing. However, in recent history, humans have used animals for a variety of testing purposes, ranging from the safety of food additives and cosmetics through to the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and military weapons. Some animals are genetically altered so they are guaranteed to get certain cancers or other diseases so that preventative drugs can be tested on them. Is this ethical? Do the benefits outweigh the costs?

There were plenty of opinions and different perspectives but no easy answers to a subject that continues to cause spirited debate in wider society.

On another note, our Senior Round Square students will be taking care of the food scrap composting from the Robert Dean Senior Student Centre and using it to feed several worm farms and to create compost for the veggie gardens behind the Helix. All students can assist in this process by ensuring that only food scraps go in the compost bin and that plastics and other rubbish either get recycled or go into a general waste bin.

Mark Hassell
Dean of Students