Grisly footage has apparently revealed that veterinary students in at least three institutions in Pakistan reportedly tied dogs’ mouths shut and their legs up, operated on them without anesthetics, left them cut open in pools of blood and waste, neglected their post-operative care as they writhed and whimpered in pain, and even laughed at their suffering. The students reportedly conducted these cruel, invasive procedures on dogs they had kidnapped from the street.
In an urgent move to prevent more animals from being subjected to these reported atrocities, PETA penned powerful letters to the schools—Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University–Rawalpindi, Riphah College of Veterinary Sciences, and COMSATS University—as well as the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination, which oversees the Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council. We called for the institutions to conduct an investigation, embrace humane simulation models, and ban training methods that aren’t medically necessary and don’t directly benefit the animals involved.
We are also in communication with Salman Sufi, head of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s Strategic Reforms Unit, about the urgent need for these reforms.
Veterinary Schools Have a Responsibility to Students and to Our Fellow Animals
There is no difference between the animals used for this cruel training and the companion animals who are brought into veterinary offices. In the veterinary field, having empathy for all animals is just as important as having technical skills, and tormenting dogs and other animals in agonizing, pointless procedures fosters a culture of apathy toward their suffering.
Veterinary students can acquire hands-on experience without harming our fellow animals. Basic skills training for IV catheter placement, blood draws, intubation, restraint methods, radiographic positioning, and critical care monitoring as well as advanced surgical training can be accomplished by using realistic simulation models. PETA pointed out that there are a number of humane training methods to prepare students for a fruitful career, including the following:
- The SynDaver Synthetic Canine is suitable to replace live animals and animal cadavers in veterinary surgical training. The model breathes and bleeds; has individual muscles, organs, and bones; and can be operated on repeatedly.
- The Critical Care Jerry and Critical Care Fluffy are complete emergency room veterinary training dog and cat manikins, respectively. They can simulate trauma, and they feature jugular and vascular access. They can also be used for various types of training, including airway management, ventilation, endotracheal intubation, mouth-to-snout resuscitation, and circulation with external chest compressions.
- Virtual Animal Anatomy is an innovative online anatomy software program that includes virtual anatomic models of dogs, cats, cows, and horses.
- Biosphera offers interactive software models that allow students to explore the anatomy of humans and other animals through virtual dissection. The company currently has 12 model options—including dogs, cats, horses, rats, pigs, and cows—designed especially for students, teachers, and professionals in life sciences and veterinary medicine.
PETA’s Vital Role in the Global Shift Toward Humane Research and Education
PETA has worked hard to make humane training and research the standard everywhere. Our groundbreaking Research Modernization Deal (RMD)—a road map for replacing archaic experiments on animals with superior, non-animal methods—has made waves around the world.
In 2021, after reviewing the RMD, members of the European Parliament voted in favor of developing an action plan to end experiments on other animals. In 2014, at PETA India’s request, the Medical Council of India made a national regulatory change that requires all medical schools in the country to stop using other animals in their undergraduate curriculum.
Our RMD has also garnered strong support from prominent medical organizations, including the National Hispanic Medical Association and the National Medical Association. The U.S. Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education—the organization responsible for setting medical curriculum standards in the U.S.—has expressed to PETA that it “supports the use of simulators and other non-animal training methods to replace the use of animals in the laboratory.”
PETA has also donated 120 TraumaMan simulators—worth approximately $3 million—to replace the use of animals in Advanced Trauma Life Support programs in countries around the world, including Pakistan, where our international team of scientists successfully collaborated with the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan to switch to non-animal methods for this lifesaving training.