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Tell the Australasian College of Surgeons to Stop Live-Animal Trauma Training

trauma training

Despite the availability of humane and educationally superior human-patient simulators, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) continues to cut holes into the throats, chests and limbs of live animals in a surgical training course called Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST), which is offered across Australia and New Zealand. This course is part of an internationally offered training program, and most other countries that teach it have switched to using the popular TraumaMan and other high-tech human simulators. These simulators have been approved since 2001 as a full replacement for the use of animals in the course. Some EMST courses in Australia are already using simulation instead of animals, but most are lagging behind.

Unlike animals, realistic simulators accurately replicate human anatomy and physiology and are reusable and shareable. They are also more cost-effective than using animals. Military and civilian studies have found that these methods better equip trainees with the surgical skills and psychological preparedness necessary to treat traumatic injuries.

TraumaMan Model

The simulators for this training are so effective that the U.S. military recently banned the use of animals in its equivalent of EMST, stating that "suitable simulation alternatives can replace the use of live animals." Australia's assistant minister for defense promised that the military would also stop using animals in EMST training as soon as RACS, which offers the training, switches to non-animal training methods.

Continuing to mutilate and kill animals for these trauma training courses is extremely cruel and archaic as well as a breach of the National Health and Medical Research Council's guidelines, which state that "[t]raining methods which do not use animals must be adopted wherever possible."

Urge the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons to stop using animals in trauma training immediately!

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