Update (April 13, 2023): We did it! Following a PETA campaign lasting over 17 months, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), which oversees the College of Medicine (UTCOM), wrote to us announcing an end to UTCOM’s use of live animals in surgical and emergency medical residency training programs on its Chattanooga campus.
Read more about this victory here.
During emergency medical training at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine—which is part of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC)—live pigs are mutilated and used as stand-ins for bleeding and critically injured humans. Pigs’ anatomy and physiology are vastly different from humans’, making such training irrelevant to learning how to treat human clinical patients. PETA is calling for an immediate end to this barbaric use of animals—and you can help.
PETA Activists Confront UT Vice Chancellor to End Live-Animal Training
March 23, 2023
PETA supporters confronted University of Tennessee Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation, & Economic Development Deborah Crawford during her speech at a symposium held at the Institute of Advanced Materials & Manufacturing, denouncing the University of Tennessee College of Medicine’s shameful refusal to ban its use of animals in emergency medical training.
— PETA (@peta) March 24, 2023
PETA Activists Urge UT Board of Trustees to End Pig Mutilations
February 24, 2023
PETA activists dressed as “pigs” descended on the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Board of Trustees winter meeting, and two other PETA representatives made presentations addressing the board directly, urging an end to the barbaric use of pigs for emergency medical training at the UTHSC’s College of Medicine in favor of more effective, ethical, and economical human-simulation models. They argued that these humane models not only prevent animals from suffering but also provide physicians and residents with a superior training experience by replicating the complexities of the human body and its responses to trauma. UTHSC Chancellor Peter Buckley asked if PETA would support the College of Medicine’s transition to animal-free simulators, and one of the PETA representatives naturally agreed. In a subsequent private conversation, John Compton, chair of the board of trustees, reportedly told one of the PETA representatives that this troubling issue of using animals for emergency medical training “will be resolved.” PETA sent a follow-up letter to University of Tennessee officials offering to help collaborate on such a transition.
Listen to what PETA Senior Scientist, Dr. Emily Trunnell, told the University of Tennessee’s Board of Trustees at their meeting today about the need to end the College of Medicine’s deadly training exercises on pigs ☝️
Full-Page Ad From PETA Slams University of Tennessee Pig-Maiming Drills
January 22, 2023
PETA has launched an eye-catching full-page ad in the Commercial Appeal, the most widely circulated newspaper in the Mid-South U.S., featuring a pig and urging the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to end its mutilation of these animals in gruesome emergency medical training sessions and switch to human-relevant, animal-free technology instead.
PETA ‘Elves’ Deliver Coal to UTHSC Chancellor’s House
December 15, 2022
PETA supporters arrived in Memphis dressed as elves from the North Pole on official business, and they weren’t smiling: University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Chancellor Peter Buckley is on their “naughty” list for continuing to allow painful and invasive training procedures on live pigs at UTHSC’s College of Medicine (UTCOM), despite the ready availability of superior, non-animal teaching methods. The elves pushed wheelbarrows decorated with holiday lights but filled with coal to Buckley’s doorstep, where they dumped the lumps while brandishing signs that read, “UTCOM Is Ho-Ho-Horrible to Pigs!” Hopefully, Buckley will want to make the “nice” list and will take action now to ban the college’s use of animals for emergency medical training.
PETA Activists Urge UTHSC Chancellor to End Live-Animal Mutilations
November 8, 2022
University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Chancellor Peter Buckley was once again confronted by PETA activists during a virtual faculty senate meeting, in which they demanded to know when UTHSC will pull the plug on its mutilation of pigs for gruesome emergency medical training sessions. After discussions of free speech during the meeting, an activist asked Buckley a question for all the audience members to hear. The chancellor clearly received the message, but instead of embracing free speech, the school shamefully kicked the activist out. Another activist posed a question in the chat to the moderator—while left unread, the message left no doubt that PETA will continue to speak up for these animals.
PETA Challenges UTHSC Chancellor at Meet and Greet
November 4, 2022
After last week’s University of Tennessee Board of Trustees meeting—where a PETA representative’s presentation was commended by UTHSC Chancellor Peter Buckley—we followed up with him at his meet-and-greet event on campus. Before being detained by police and banned from campus, a PETA activist confronted Buckley to ask when UTHSC will replace its use of animals for emergency medical training with superior, non-animal simulation models. While he didn’t provide a direct response to this question, onlookers fell silent as they learned about how live pigs used in the school’s emergency medical drills have their ribs cracked open, incur collapsed lungs, and more.
‘Crying Pig’ Confronts UT Board of Trustees During Fall Meeting
October 28, 2022
PETA activists led by a costumed “crying pig” descended on the University of Tennessee’s Board of Trustees Fall Meeting wielding signs demanding an end to the College of Medicine’s barbaric use of pigs for emergency medical training. A PETA representative addressed board members directly, asking them to intervene and fully replace the use of animals in emergency medical training with more effective, ethical, and economical human-simulation models—to which Chancellor Peter Buckley responded, “I’d equally like to thank you for your clear presentation today.” Hopefully he will take action now to ban the college’s use of animals for emergency medical training.
PETA Activists Storm UTHSC Meeting, Demand an End to Pig Mutilations
October 11, 2022
During the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s (UTHSC) virtual faculty senate meeting, PETA activists called on Chancellor Peter Buckley to end the school’s mutilation of animals for gruesome emergency medical training. The activists posted written questions to Buckley for all the audience members to see, including this query:
In light of PETA’s recent campaign, Erlanger Health System’s LIFE FORCE banned the use of animals for medical trainings. When will UTHSC make the same decision and ban the use of live animals in its emergency medical training and instead exclusively use superior animal-free methods?
Our message was clearly received, but instead of welcoming free speech, the moderator kicked the activists out and blocked them from the online meeting. However, their written comments informing attendees of UTHSC’s transgressions remained.
UTHSC Chancellor Challenged by PETA Activists to Stop Animal Mutilations
September 13, 2022
During the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s (UTHSC) virtual faculty senate meeting today, PETA activists called on Chancellor Peter Buckley to end the school’s mutilation of pigs for gruesome emergency medical training. They asked him questions including “In light of PETA’s recent campaign, Erlanger Health System’s LIFE FORCE banned the use of animals for medical training. When will UTHSC make the same decision and ban the use of live animals in its emergency medical training and instead exclusively use superior, animal-free methods?” Buckley clearly received our message, but instead of embracing free speech, the school shamefully kicked the activists out and blocked them from the online meeting.
UTCOM’s Partner Hospital Bans Use of Animals in Medical Training
August 4, 2022
Following pressure from PETA and more than 75,000 of our supporters, Erlanger Health System has announced a new policy banning its staff—including its emergency medevac provider, LIFE FORCE—from participating in medical training that uses animals. Previously, LIFE FORCE personnel were forced either to attend emergency medical training sessions involving invasive procedures on pigs held by the University of Tennessee College of Medicine (UTCOM) or risk losing their jobs. We applaud Erlanger’s progressive decision to use human-relevant training methods, and we urge UTCOM to follow suit.
“Erlanger’s policies and procedures do not include the use of live animals for any purpose including training. … To further support this endeavor of utilizing high-fidelity simulation models, Erlanger recently opened a new simulation lab for training which features six of these simulation models ranging from newborns to adults.”
—Blaine Kelley, Public Relations Manager, Erlanger Health System
PETA Activists Call Out UTHSC at Faculty Senate Meeting
June 14, 2022
During the faculty senate meeting at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), PETA activists challenged Chancellor Peter F. Buckley, asking, “When will you replace the cruel use of animals in emergency medical training conducted by UTHSC?” The chair of UTHSC’s Department of Emergency Medicine, James R. Walker, replied that the center doesn’t “use animals” and has “never been cruel to animals.” However, in a prior letter to University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd, PETA pointed to public records—received from UTHSC and confirming the school’s use of animals for emergency medical training—stating, “In August we will be having 3 animals in the Skills Lab every Thursday. … The LifeForce [sic] crews would like to attend also.”
Babe Star James Cromwell Urges UTHSC to Ban Training That Uses Live Animals
March 1, 2022
Emmy Award winner and star of Babe James Cromwell sent a powerful letter on PETA’s behalf calling on University of Tennessee Health Science Center Chancellor Peter F. Buckley to end crude pig mutilation drills held at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Cromwell writes that he “had the privilege of witnessing and experiencing pigs’ intelligence and inquisitive personalities while filming the movie Babe” and goes on to urge an end “to this barbaric use of animals.”