Paws Down! to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical School Campus for practicing medical procedures on live pigs.
September 10, 2020
According to a survey conducted by The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, over 70% of medical schools in the United States do not use live animals when practicing medical procedures. This is not the case for the University of Colorado, whose Anschutz Medical School is currently using pigs in practicing surgical procedures such as kidney and gallbladder removals. The pigs are often kept alive for up to eight weeks after these procedures before they are euthanized, according to CPR News.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is filing a complaint to the USDA against the University, claiming the University did not first seek alternatives to using live animals in medical training, which is required under the Animal Welfare Act.
While pigs have been used in medical training for years, more and more universities are realizing the inhumane nature of using live animals for surgical training. Not only is it painful and cruel to the animals, but the experience offers little educational benefit to future doctors who will be performing surgeries on human beings–not animals with a completely different anatomy.
Most universities opt for more humane and accurate teaching techniques that use human-relevant methods such as simulators, virtual reality, and human cadavers. These widely-accepted methods provide medical students with knowledge and experience with human-based procedures without subjecting innocent animals to pain and fear.