|NEWS RELEASE||January 4, 2007|
Wisconsin Humane Society and National Physicians Group Urge Milwaukee Residents to Help End Cruel Dog Lab at Medical College
Billboard Draws Motorists to New Web Site to Save 60 Dogs Scheduled to Die in Medical College of Wisconsin’s Controversial Course
MILWAUKEE—A new billboard on the Zoo Freeway calls on Milwaukee motorists to help save the lives of about 60 dogs slated to be killed this February in a Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) physiology class. The 48-by-14-foot billboard, sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and the Wisconsin Humane Society, features a photo of a dog and reads: “Don’t put man’s best friend under the knife. Stop the Medical College of Wisconsin’s dog lab.” Facing southbound freeway traffic a little north of Hampton Avenue, the billboard also encourages drivers to visit www.SaveMCWanimals.org, a new website offering information about the class and humane alternatives.
The Medical College of Wisconsin’s first-year physiology lab has drawn criticism from local physicians, medical students, the Wisconsin Humane Society, and PCRM. It involves anesthetizing the dogs, opening their chest cavities, injecting pharmaceuticals, and then killing the animals. More than 85 percent of U.S. medical schools, including Stanford, Yale, and Columbia, use humane and educationally superior alternatives. MCW already owns four state-of-the-art human patient simulators specifically designed to teach human physiology.
“The Medical College of Wisconsin is one of the last schools in the country still using live animals to teach basic concepts in physiology,” says cardiologist John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., a PCRM senior medical and research advisor. “There is simply no excuse for killing animals in the name of medical education.”
In May 2006, PCRM asked federal authorities to investigate the use of live dogs at MCW. The government’s inspection report confirmed that suitable non-animal alternatives exist and required the school to justify why it is not using these alternatives. To date, MCW has failed to provide any meaningful justification for using animals rather than one of the many alternatives. MCW has also been criticized for buying many of its dogs from Class B animal dealer Ken Schroeder, who has received 16 USDA citations since 1997.
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.