Students who don't want to cut up animals for class shouldn' have to, say animal-rights advocates at the University of Maryland at College Park.
Animal-rights advocates will ask the College Park Campus Senate today to change its policy and have instructors offer alternatives to students who object to working with animals.
"There is a growing number of students who have some sort of ethical or moral objection to using animals in classes," said Mark Parascandola, a recently graduated College Park student involved in the campus' animal rights coalition. "The current campus policy doesn't recognize these students' rights."
Some students' feelings about the treatment of animals are so strong that they constitute religious beliefs, Mr. Parascandola said. Animal-rights advocates have pushed the issue at colleges and high schools across the country.
"There's definitely a feeling that it's an idea whose time has come," said Anna Charlton, a staff attorney with the Rutgers University Animal Rights Law Clinic in Newark, N.J. The clinic has helped several students find "accommodations" for their concerns about animal experiments, Ms. Charlton said.