For Immediate Release:
November 4, 2022
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Memphis, Tenn. – Earlier today, a PETA supporter confronted University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center (UTHSC) Chancellor Peter Buckley at his meet-and-greet event at the C.P.J Mooney Memorial Library and urged him to end the school’s invasive emergency medical training procedures on live pigs. Before being detained by police, the activist demanded that the chancellor compel the school to switch to the superior, animal-free, human simulators used in the vast majority of comparable emergency medical training drills worldwide. Photos and video footage are available here.
The training sessions in question involve inducing collapsed lungs, cutting into an artery to induce bleeding, and cracking open the ribs if resuscitating the pigs fails. The animals who survive the painful drills are killed.
The activist’s action came after more than 87,000 PETA supporters wrote to leadership at UTHSC and its College of Medicine (UTCOM) to demand an end to the mutilation of animals in emergency medical training. Among other campaign actions, PETA sent letters to Buckley and University of Tennessee (UT) System President Randy Boyd and a PETA representative spoke at the UT Board of Trustees meeting on October 28. Emmy winner and star of Babe James Cromwell also sent a letter to Buckley urging him to “end this barbaric use of animals.” After hearing from PETA, UTCOM’s hospital partner, Erlanger Health System, announced a new policy banning its staff—as well as its emergency medevac provider, LIFE FORCE—from participating in the live-animal medical training drills at UTCOM.
Earlier on February 4, Buckley replied to PETA in writing, saying that he would “check into this going forward,” but he has yet to take action to end the maiming of pigs in these exercises.
“The University of Tennessee’s mutilation of sensitive pigs in crude emergency medical drills is a bloody stain on its reputation,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA urges UTHSC Chancellor Peter Buckley to do right by students and animals by embracing superior, animal-free, human-relevant training methods.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—points to an internal e-mail it obtained in which UTCOM leadership acknowledges that the public’s discovery of its animal drills “will be very damaging to the College of Medicine and [its] credibility.”
PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.