Campaign Against Canadian University’s Animal Use Heats Up
Tempers are flaring as the Physicians Committee’s campaign to end a Canadian university’s use of piglets in its pediatrics training program has gotten under the skin of school leaders. The Physicians Committee had placed bus shelter ads calling for an end to the school’s use of piglets for pediatrics residency training. Internal communications obtained by the Physicians Committee through a public records request reveal that Laval University’s administration reacted strongly to the ads. In an apparent effort to save face and avoid further humiliation, the school’s communications director asked for the ads to be removed—and even ordered campus security officers to attempt to cover them up. Québec City daily newspaper Le Journal de Québec featured the ads in a full-length story about the Physicians Committee’s campaign.
After a Physicians Committee ad appeared in the student newspaper, Impact Campus, university administrators attempted to contact the newspaper’s staff for several days, prompting the newspaper to publish an article questioning the experiments and quoting John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., Physicians Committee director of academic affairs, at length.
In addition to the hard-hitting ads, the multi-faceted campaign also includes a cruelty complaint filed with the Québec prosecutor; letters sent to the residency program director, the pediatrics department chair, and the university rector (equivalent to the president of the university); and a petition signed by more than 500 Québec residents.
The Physicians Committee will continue to inform students, faculty, and the public that Laval is the last university in Canada engaged in the cruel, ineffective practice of using animals to teach procedures for which superior human simulators are available.
Canadian residents can take action by signing the petition at SwitchtoSimulation.org.