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Biology EE - Compliant with the IB Animal Experiment Policy?

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Hello,

I am doing my Extended Essay in Biology and I am soon going to submit my first draft (coming tuesday). I have not, however, started the actual experiment for my essay yet, due to time constraints. My Research Question is:

How does the feed conversion ratio of the house cricket (Acheta domesticus) compare to those of traditional Western sources of protein like cattle, pigs and chicken?

or (I haven't quite decided)

 To what extent are insects a more sustainable food source than traditional western protein sources like cattle, pigs and chicken?

 

Essentially, I had an experiment planned where I breed house crickets with the aim of obtaining values for a feed conversion ratio. This is a ratio that shows how much mass of input (i.e. cricket feed) converts into mass of output (i.e. cricket mass). To do so, I would kill the crickets once they reach adulthood by freezing them, an ethically moral way that does not inflict pain on the insects. Then I would grind them up into flour and weigh the total mass of cricket flour. This number would be used along with the sum of all mass of feed consumed by the crickets to construct the FCR (feed conversion ratio). The obtained value would be compared to values I find from other studies where the FCR of cattle, pig and chickens were measured. My point would be that insects are a more sustainable food source because they have a better food conversion rate than cattle, pigs and chickens. The problem is, I just stumbled upon the IB animal experimentation policy, which states that any experiments involving the killing of animals are forbidden. (link: https://ib-biology-labbank.wikispaces.com/file/view/Animal+Experiment+Policy.pdf)

 

Is this policy still up to date? Would my experiment comply with the IB's policy because I minimise any pain the insects could feel? What could I change for my experiment to comply with the IB policy?

 

Thank you for any help on the topic.

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Thank you for your reply! I thought about weighing them alive, but that would cause a great amount of error. My supervisor thinks its okay to kill the crickets as the IB animal experimentation policy only says no animals should be killed. According to my supervisor, crickets would not fall into that category but I'm not really sure. Don't want to risk my diploma so I will look for a way to weigh them alive. Do you know if one would fail the EE if one violates the animal experimentation policy or if that would just result in a lower score?

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