Johnson & Johnson Removes Pigs from Training Materials

Pharmaceutical company will no longer show videos of medical devices being used on live pigs to train sales representatives.


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Multinational pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has vowed to remove live pigs from videos used for their medical device training. In a letter to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the company wrote that it has discontinued live animal use in sales trainings across its North America region, saying it aims to end the practice globally by the end of the year. PETA successfully campaigned for the company to eliminate this form of animal use for training purposes after several years of protesting. “No salesperson needs to watch a pig bleed out and die to see how a medical device works,” says PETA’s Senior Vice President of laboratory investigations Kathy Guillermo. Guillermo offers the solution of using human anatomy simulators or videos of human surgery to educate medical sales representatives about the devices they vend. “Pigs are wonderful, sensitive beings, not training tools, and there are far better ways for sales reps to learn how medical devices work in human patients.” Similarly, in July, vegan medical group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine successfully lobbied for all medical schools across North America to abandon the requirement of surgical training on live pigs.