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You Helped End Pig Deaths at University of Massachusetts

pigMore than 10,000 of you contacted the University of Massachusetts Medical School and urged its dean to end the school’s deadly use of pigs in trauma training courses. He listened.

The dean committed to permanently ending animal use in the school’s Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses—and he made the switch just days before the Dec. 7 course.

UMMS now joins the overwhelming majority of institutions that use only nonanimal methods for ATLS courses, which are designed to treat acute trauma injuries. PCRM’s survey of ATLS courses shows that just 10 out of the 227 surveyed ATLS courses in the United States continue to use animals.

UMMS has made the compassionate and educationally responsible choice, but there’s still mass cruelty happening in Massachusetts. ATLS programs at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston continue to use animals.

In October 2010, PCRM physician members and other concerned Bostonians lined the street outside Mass General to oppose the facility’s use of live sheep for trauma training. It has one of the last programs in the country using animals in such courses, although effective nonanimal training methods have been approved by the American College of Surgeons, the body overseeing these courses.

ATLS training at the hospital involves cutting into live, anesthetized sheep and practicing procedures such as inserting a tube and needle into the animals’ chest cavities and cutting into their throats. After the training session, the animals are killed. The animals are also subjected to the trauma of confinement, shipping, and preparation for surgery.

Please e-mail Mass General president Peter Slavin, M.D., today and urge him to end this cruel and unnecessary practice. With your help, we will permanently end animal use in ATLS courses and save these animals from needless pain and suffering.

To ask Dr. Slavin to join the 95 percent of institutions that use human-based trauma training methods, visit


PCRM Online, January 2011

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