For Immediate Release:
March 1, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Chattanooga, Tenn. – For National Pig Day on March 1, Emmy-winning actor James Cromwell—who starred as Farmer Hoggett in Babe—sent a letter to the new chancellor of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Peter F. Buckley, urging him to start his tenure by ending the College of Medicine’s invasive training procedures on pigs and switching to the superior, animal-free human simulators that are used in the vast majority of medical training drills worldwide.
“Having had the privilege of witnessing and experiencing pigs’ intelligence and inquisitive personalities while filming the movie Babe, I’m horrified to learn from my friends at PETA that these animals endure mutilation and death during medical training drills at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine,” writes Cromwell. “I hope one of the first acts in your new role as chancellor is to end this barbaric use of animals in medical training.”
The College of Medicine’s training sessions—which are mandatory for certain responders of its partner LIFE FORCE Air Medical—involve inducing collapsed lungs, cutting into an artery to induce bleeding, and cracking open the ribs if resuscitating the pigs fails. In the end, pigs who survive the painful procedures are killed.
PETA points out that all the trainings can be more accurately practiced on advanced human simulators that mimic patients’ bodies. Studies show that medical skills learned on pigs do not effectively translate to the treatment of human patients, because of significant anatomical and physiological differences between species, and that medical professionals who learned lifesaving surgical skills on human simulators are more proficient than those who used animals for their training. Superior, anatomically accurate human simulators and human cadavers are widely available for teaching lifesaving medical skills.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.