Section 233.0674, Florida Statutes 2001
233.0674 Biological experiments on living subjects.--
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.--
(a) The Legislature finds that:
1. Biological experimentation is essential for an understanding of the complexity and diversity of life processes;
2. Such studies should lead to a broader awareness of living systems;
3. Capable students anxious to pursue careers in biological sciences should receive appropriate encouragement and guidance; and
4. Biological experimentation should be within the comprehension and capabilities of the student undertaking the study.
(b) The Legislature recognizes that the use of live animals in some kinds of experiments by students in grades K through 12 may be distasteful or traumatizing to immature students.
(2) STATE POLICY.--It is therefore the intent of the Legislature with respect to biological experiments involving living subjects by students in grades K through 12 that:
(a) No surgery or dissection shall be performed on any living mammalian vertebrate or bird. Dissection may be performed on nonliving mammals or birds secured from a recognized source of such specimens and under supervision of qualified instructors. Students may be excused upon written request of a parent or guardian.
(b) Lower orders of life and invertebrates may be used in such experiments.
(c) Nonmammalian vertebrates, excluding birds, may be used in biological experiments, provided that physiological harm does not result from such experiments. Anatomical studies shall only be conducted on models which are anatomically correct for the animal being studied or on nonliving nonmammalian vertebrates secured and from a recognized source of such specimens and under the supervision of qualified instructors. Students may be excused from such experiments upon written request of the parent or guardian.
(d) Observational studies of animals in the wild or in zoological parks, gardens, or aquaria, or of pets, fish, domestic animals, or livestock may be conducted.
(e) Studies of vertebrate animal cells, such as red blood cells or other tissue cells, plasma or serum, or anatomical specimens, such as organs, tissues, or skeletons, purchased or acquired from biological supply houses or research facilities or from wholesale or retail establishments which supply carcasses or parts of food animals may be conducted.
(f) Normal physiological and behavioral studies of the human animal may be conducted, provided that such projects are carefully selected so that neither physiological or psychological harm to the subject can result from such studies.
(g) All experiments shall be carried out under the supervision of a competent science teacher who shall be responsible for ensuring that the student has the necessary comprehension for the study to be undertaken. Whenever feasible, specifically qualified experts in the field should be consulted.
(h) Live animals on the premises of public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools shall be housed and cared for in a humane and safe manner. Animals shall not remain on the premises of any school during periods when such school is not in session, unless adequate care is provided for such animals.
(3) EXEMPTIONS.--The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit or constrain conventional instruction in the normal practices of animal husbandry or exhibition of any livestock in connection with any agricultural program or instruction of advanced students participating in advanced research, scientific studies, or projects.
(4) PENALTY.--In the event that any instructional employee of a public high school or 1area technical center knowingly or intentionally fails or refuses to comply with any of the provisions of this section, the school board, acting as a board, may suspend, dismiss, return to annual contract, or otherwise discipline such employee as provided in s. 230.23(5)(f) in accordance with procedures established in chapter 231. In the event that any instructional employee of any nonpublic school knowingly or intentionally fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this section, the governing authority of such school may suspend, dismiss, or otherwise discipline such employee in accordance with its standard personnel procedures.
History.--s. 1, ch. 85-70.
1Note.--The term "area technical center" was substituted for the term "area vocational-technical center" by the editors pursuant to the directive of the Legislature in s. 16, ch. 94-232.