University of North Carolina Ends Animal Training

Yet another university plans to switch to animal-free medical training models.


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As of this month, the use of animals for medical training will be a thing of the past at the University of North Carolina (UNC). Vegan advocacy group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) launched a public campaign last year against UNC to urge the school to end the archaic practice of performing invasive procedures on live pigs to train emergency medical residents. Last month, PCRM’s physician advocate Roberta Gray, MD—and graduate of UNC—successfully convinced the UNC Board of Governors to modernize their program to replace live animal training with more human-relevant methods. With UNC’s commitment, 90 percent of all emergency medicine residency programs—including those taught at prestigious Johns Hopkins University of Medicine—have abandoned animal-based training programs. PCRM is now turning their sights to convince holdouts such as Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN to end the use of animals in their training programs