Training Course Using Animals Instead of Human Simulators Appears to Violate U.S. Law
For Immediate Release:
September 21, 2015
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Athens, Ga. – PETA is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate the University of Georgia (UGA) for allowing dogs and other animals to be mutilated and killed in a cruel and archaic medical training course for students, faculty, and members of the Georgia National Guard.
Documents obtained by PETA show that each year, students in UGA’s Medical Readiness Training Program crudely cut holes into the throats, chests, and limbs of dozens of live beagles and sometimes pigs and goats—although dogs are “preferred” by UGA—even though realistic and more effective human-patient simulators are widely used for this training in Georgia and elsewhere. In a complaint filed with the USDA this morning, PETA provides evidence that the UGA-approved application for these laboratories failed to include an adequate search for alternatives to animal use and justification for animal use, as required by federal law. It also describes how the application used inaccurate, outdated, and incomplete information, entirely ignoring extensive scientific evidence of the superiority of modern simulators for this training.
“Cutting up and killing dogs and other animals for archaic medical training exercises is morally indefensible and educationally inferior—and it appears to violate federal animal-welfare law,” says PETA Director of Laboratory Investigations Justin Goodman. “The University of Georgia can save animals’ lives and better prepare students to save human lives by switching to more modern and effective human-patient simulators.”
Nearly every hospital and university across the U.S. and Georgia that teach courses covering the same skills—including Atlanta Medical Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University, the Medical Center of Central Georgia, the Medical College of Georgia, and Memorial Medical Center—use simulators that mimic human anatomy and physiology, while UGA continues to maim and kill animals. Last year, the Department of Defense banned the use of animals for teaching these skills in several of its courses on the grounds that “suitable simulation alternatives can replace the use of live animals.” Civilian and military studies have repeatedly found that simulators like TraumaMan better prepare doctors and medics to perform the emergency skills covered in the UGA course.
PETA’s complaint to the USDA is available upon request. For more information, please click here.