University of Michigan Ends Live Dog Lab
The University of Michigan has ended the use of dogs in its trauma training course, according to a university statement released on Feb. 26. The university had been killing dogs from state animal shelters in the training exercises, but now joins the other eight Michigan Advanced Trauma Life Support programs, and the vast majority of United States trauma training programs, which use only advanced human-based simulators and other nonanimal methods.
“Anatomical simulators are a better training method, as well as being more ethical, so we’re delighted that the University of Michigan has replaced animals in its trauma training classes,” said PCRM cardiologist John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.
PCRM helped generate public awareness about the University of Michigan’s (UM’s) use of dogs in this course. UM administrators heard from thousands of doctors, paramedics, UM alumni, and other concerned citizens. PCRM member doctors wrote letters and opinion columns that were published in the Detroit Free Press, Ann Arbor News, and UM’s student newspaper. Most important, PCRM also filed a federal complaint over UM’s use of animals, and that likely influenced the school’s decision to switch to simulators.
A handful of other facilities continue to kill animals in trauma training courses, despite the availability of simulators and other nonanimal methods approved by the American College of Surgeons, the organization that oversees the courses.
To learn how you can help end the use of animals in medical training at other institutions, please visit PCRM.org.