2016 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Title LXII - CRIMINAL CODE
Chapter 644 - BREACHES OF THE PEACE AND RELATED OFFENSES
Section 644:8-c - Animal Use in Science Classes and Science Fairs.
I. In this section:
(a) "Animal'' means any member of the kingdom of Animalia.
(b) "Vertebrate animal'' means any animal belonging to the subphylum Vertebrata of the phylum Chordata, and specifically includes all mammals, fishes, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
II. Live vertebrate animals shall not be used in experiments or observational studies, with the following exceptions:
(a) Observational studies may be made of the normal living patterns of wild animals, in the free living state or in zoological parks, gardens, or aquaria.
(b) Observational studies may be made of the living patterns of vertebrate animals in the classroom.
(c) Observational studies on bird egg embryos are permitted. However, if normal bird embryos are to be allowed to hatch, satisfactory humane consideration shall be made for disposal of the baby birds.
(d) Vertebrate animal cells such as red blood cells or other tissue cells, plasma or serum, or anatomical specimens, such as organs, tissues, or skeletons, may be used in experiments or observational studies.
III. No school principal, administrator or teacher shall allow any live vertebrate animal to be used in any elementary or secondary school, or in any activity associated with such school, such as science fairs, as part of a scientific experiment or procedure in which the health of the animal is interfered with, or in which pain, suffering, or distress is caused. Such experiments and procedures include, but are not limited to, surgery, anesthetization, and the inducement by any means of painful, lethal, or pathological conditions through techniques that include, but are not limited to:
(a) Administration of drugs;
(b) Exposure to pathogens, ionizing radiation, carcinogens, or to toxic or hazardous substances;
(c) Deprivation; or
(d) Electric shock or other distressing stimuli.
IV. All experiments on live vertebrate animals which are not prohibited by this section 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.
V. No person shall, in the presence of a pupil in any elementary or secondary school, perform any of the procedures or experiments described in paragraph III or exhibit any vertebrate animal that has been used in such manner. Dissection of any dead animal, or portions thereof, shall be confined to the presence of students engaged in the study to be promoted by the dissections.
VI. Science fair projects originating in other states that do not conform with the provisions of this section shall not be exhibited within the state.
VII. Any live animal kept in any elementary or secondary school shall be housed and cared for in a humane and safe manner and shall be the personal responsibility of the teacher or other adult supervisor of the project or study.
VIII. Ordinary agricultural procedures taught in animal husbandry courses shall not be prohibited by this section.
IX. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Source. 1985, 54:1, eff. June 22, 1985.
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