A special funeral and mourning ceremony was held at Fudan University on Friday - for mice.
Digging pits on a lawn at the university's Handan campus, Fudan students buried more than 20 white mice below the school of life sciences building.
All the mice were used for teaching and research experiments on immunological, medical, pharmaceutical or genetic studies.
Students placed little flowers on the lab animals' graves, stood in line and observed a minute's silence as a salute to the creatures that lost their lives in the cause of scientific research.
"We should be grateful to those lab animals," said Fu Wenjun, a sophomore at Fudan. "This is a way to show our respect."
Most lab animal bodies are transferred to professional scientific research waste treatment institutes.
Zhou Yihao, a Fudan official and the activity organizer, said that the mass burial was not only a vivid humanitarian education for students, but also an environmental protection effort.
University officials said that they would make laboratory-animal funerals a regular occurrence.
(Shanghai Daily April 28, 2007)