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NEWS RELEASE November 13, 2006

Use of Live Dogs at Medical College of Wisconsin Denounced by Doctors’ Group and Wisconsin Humane Society

Nearly 60 Dogs Will Be Spared if Milwaukee School Uses Its Human Patient Simulators to Teach Human Physiology

MILWAUKEE—Four Wisconsin doctors and the Wisconsin Humane Society will join forces with the national Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) for a news conference to denounce the use of live dogs as teaching tools at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The school plans to use and then kill approximately 60 dogs in an upcoming training exercise for first-year medical students, despite a recent inspection report from the federal government confirming that suitable nonanimal alternatives exist.

“Future doctors are better served by learning with human patient simulators and other human-centered alternatives than by crude experiments on dogs,” says cardiologist John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., a PCRM senior medical and research advisor. “The Medical College of Wisconsin should immediately drop plans to use live dogs in its human physiology course this spring.” The Medical College of Wisconsin campus already has approximately four human patient simulators.

WHO: Yale-educated surgeon Judith Green, M.D., of Madison will be joined by three other Wisconsin physicians: Drs. Feinsilver, Fisher, and Jumes. Board member Jeff Rusinow will represent the Wisconsin Humane Society. Dr. Pippin and PCRM’s executive director Mindy Kursban will speak on behalf of the nonprofit organization’s approximately 6,000 physician members.
WHAT: A news conference to denounce the use of live dogs in an upcoming human physiology course at the Medical College of Wisconsin. PCRM will provide recently obtained documents detailing the federal government’s investigation of the Medical College of Wisconsin’s dog use.
WHEN: Monday, November 13, 10 to 11 a.m.
WHERE: Wisconsin Humane Society, Learning Center One, 4500 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee
VISUALS: B-roll of a medical school dog lab

PCRM recently filed a complaint with federal authorities asking them to investigate the use of live dogs at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The U.S. Department of Agriculture sent an inspector, who wrote, “A search conducted by the inspectors showed that alternatives exist. If alternative methods are available, the written narrative must justify why the alternatives were not used.” PCRM contends that the Medical College of Wisconsin has provided no meaningful justification for using dogs rather than one of the many educationally superior nonanimal alternatives. Currently, more than 85 percent of U.S. medical schools have eliminated the use of live animals for student training exercises. 

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.
John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.

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