AMSA Passes Resolution Encouraging Replacement of Live Animal Labs
Last month, the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) took a major step toward modernizing medical education. The group passed a resolution encouraging the replacement of live animal laboratories with nonanimal alternatives in undergraduate medical education and condemning the practice of pound seizure and obtaining animals from Class B dealers.
AMSA amended its official position regarding alternatives to animal laboratories from a statement that the organization “urges that alternative educational materials, such as films, videotapes and computer simulations be provided for students who do not choose to attend these classes and labs (1986),” to “AMSA strongly encourages the replacement of animal laboratories with non-animal alternatives in undergraduate medical education.”
The resolution also states that AMSA condemns the use of household pets from pounds, shelters, or Class B random source dealers. This replaces a position taken by AMSA in 1986, in which the group endorsed pound seizure.
The position of AMSA, which has a membership of 65,000, including medical students, premedical students, interns, and medical residents, is now consistent with the more than 85 percent of U.S. medical schools that have already eliminated the use of live animals to teach basic concepts in human physiology, pharmacology, or surgery. The American College of Surgeons also no longer uses live animals in any of its own training exercises.
What You Can Do
Write to your local universities and alma mater if they still engage in this practice to express your opposition to these crude exercises.>