This post first appeared on IranVoices.org and is translated into English and published here as part of a content-sharing agreement.
The Humane Society of Mashhad recently pressed the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ferdosi University to put a stop to the tradition of an animal dissection tournament for high school students. The annual event was planned to be held at the end of December at the university.
The Humane Society asked all animal lovers to show their support by their presence in front of the university in order to protest this event. Above is a photo of the campaign poster (in Persian), which was posted on December 17 on the Facebook page for the Society to Defend Animal Rights.
During past tournaments, students have been asked to compete against each other by extracting the internal organs of mice within 20 minutes. Each contestant paid 75,000 tomans (US $30) to participate, a fee that was deposited into the account of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ferdosi University.
Despite the online and offline protest movement, the tournament was held on December 16. The Society to Defend Animal Rights campaign called the contest immoral and a misuse of laboratory animals, and further insisted that the tournament had no place in scientific research and promotion.
The society's request to put a stop to the event went ignored, however. Animal rights efforts are only just beginning to be noticed by mainstream Iranian news. The campaign received coverage in a small Persian news blog called Iran News Online, but was widely shared on the Facebook page for the Iranian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The campaign generated 245 shares, 821 likes, and an outpouring of comments.