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Final Medical School Stops Live Animal Surgical Practice

Schools in both Canada and the United States no longer require students to practice surgery on live pigs, dogs, and cats.

The University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga—the final remaining medical school in both Canada and the United States that required students to practice surgical training on live animals such as dogs, cats, and pigs—announced that it “has ceased to provide surgical skills training for medical students using live animal models.” Following a similar announcement by Johns Hopkins Medical School in May, the college will now utilize surgical simulation technologies. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has been pressuring the school to abandon the requirement—which 200 schools nationwide have previously done—for more than 10 years. John Pippin, PCRM’s director of academic affairs, revealed that 300 pigs per year were routinely used in the practice. “It gets animals out of harm’s way, and it allows medical school students to learn they can be great doctors without harming animals,” Pippin said. “Many thousands of animals a year that would have been killed to train medical students will not be.”

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