Two Southern Schools Still Killing Pigs for Medical Training
The University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Tennessee College of Medicine are two of the last seven schools in the United States and Canada still killing live animals for medical student training. PCRM recently filed legal complaints against both schools because this animal use violates the states’ animal cruelty laws.
Medical training at University of Mississippi Medi- cal Center (UMMC) involves cutting into live, anes- thetized pigs and performing cardiovascular medical procedures. Students place catheters in the arteries and veins of the pigs, block the animals’ arteries, and inject them with drugs. In the University of Tennessee College of Medicine’s (UTCOMC’s) surgery clerkship, students surgically cut open live pigs and manipulate or remove body parts. After both schools’ training sessions, the pigs are killed.
PCRM’s complaint against UTCOMC calls on the district attorney general to halt the school’s animal lab. It states, “We believe that UTCOMC should be held criminally liable for cruelty to animals and request that you investigate and halt the live animal component of the school’s medical student curriculum as soon as possible.” Tennessee’s animal cruelty statute criminalizes conduct that needlessly “torture[s] [and] maim[s]” animals
The UMMC complaint came on the heels of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection prompted by an earlier PCRM complaint. The USDA cited UMMC for violating the Animal Welfare Act by failing to properly consider nonanimal methods. When the school still failed to change its practices, PCRM appealed to local and state prosecutors.
Human patient models and other high-tech nonani- mal methods are used by more than 95 percent of U.S. and Canadian medical schools, including high-ranked Southern institutions such as Emory University, Vander- bilt University, and Duke University.
ONLiNE> To ask these schools to replace animal use with simulators, visit PCRM.org/Research.