PCRM, Humane Society Denounce Dog Labs at Medical College of Wisconsin
Four Wisconsin doctors and the Wisconsin Humane Society joined PCRM to hold a news conference November 13 in Milwaukee to denounce the use of live dogs as teaching tools at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). The school plans to use and kill approximately 60 dogs in a physiology course for first-year medical students.
Speaking at the news conference were PCRM senior medical advisor John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., Jeff Rusinow from the Wisconsin Humane Society, and four Wisconsin physicians—Donald Feinsilver, M.D., an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at MCW; Judith Green, M.D., a surgeon and assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin; Dr. Richard Fisher, a family physician from Milwaukee; and Dr. Marvin G. Jumes, a retired anesthesiologist from Sheboygan.
PCRM recently filed a complaint with the federal government asking for an investigation of the use of live dogs at MCW. An inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that alternatives to using animals for medical education exist and that a “written narrative must justify why the alternatives were not used.” PCRM contends that MCW has not and cannot provide meaningful justification for using dogs instead of one of the many educationally superior non-animal alternatives.
Only two U.S. medical schools still use dogs in student training exercises, and only one of the top-20 ranked U.S. medical schools—Washington University Medical School in St. Louis—uses any live animals. In many top-ranked medical schools, human patient simulators and other human-centered alternatives are the preferred instructional tools. The MCW campus already has approximately four human patient simulators.
“There are alternatives that are not only adequate but superior,” Dr. Pippin said at the news conference. “I don't see any reason why even one more dog should be killed for this purpose.”