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Student blames professor as he fails to make the cut

A Moscow student has been expelled from Russia’s most prestigious university for refusing to cut up a frog. Roman Belousov is now taking his professor to court to reverse the decision. He wants to be allowed to study biology without doing practical experi

A grade ‘A’ student, Roman Belousov isn’t the sort of person you’d expect to be expelled from Russia’s top university. He is a vegan and animal lover, and it's his beliefs that have got him into trouble.

His microbiology course involves dissecting live frogs, rodents and rabbits – something he refuses to do. Belousov says such operations go against his ethical beliefs and are not necessary for his career.

Microbiology course involves dissecting live 
            frogs, rodents and rabbits
Microbiology course involves dissecting live frogs, rodents and rabbits
“I refused to experiment on a frog because I had to paralyse it and operate without anaesthetic. I think these tests are senseless especially for someone who doesn’t intend working with animals in the future,” Belousov said.

By not taking part in practical experiments, he's failed some of his exams and has had to repeat his third year three times.

He’s now taking his university professor to court for the right to study without dissecting animals. He wants to be allowed to use other ways of learning, such as computer simulation.

Computer techniques, models and animals which have died of natural causes are all widely used in Europe and the U.S. as alternatives to operating on live animals.

Moscow State University claims biological education is impossible without experimenting on living things.

However, animal rights groups beg to differ. They say alternative measures offer adequate training and are calling for Russia to change the way it teaches.

Elena Marovena, from the Vita Centre for animal rights stressed the enormous difference between Russia and other countries.

“For example, in Britain two licences are needed to get permission to experiment on animals. This is true of almost all countries in Western Europe,” she said.

Belousov is one student hoping to raise awareness to the cause.

While he might not agree with experimenting on live animals for science, he does carry out some operations. He helps out in a veterinary clinic by assisting the staff and gets hands-on-experience by taking part in operations.