Tulane 'Criminally Liable' for Pig Deaths
Animals in New Orleans have seen their share of suffering: Thousands died during Hurricane Katrina, and thousands more were victims of the recent oil spill. But a new legal complaint could spare the lives of pigs being deliberately killed in Tulane University School of Medicine’s trauma training course.
In a recent legal complaint, the Humane Society of Louisiana stated that Tulane University School of Medicine’s use of live pigs in its trauma training course is illegal. Citing a Louisiana statute prohibiting the mutilation or maiming of any living animal, the Humane Society is urging the Louisiana attorney general to immediately stop Tulane’s use of live pigs in its Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course.
“We believe that the Tulane University School of Medicine should be held criminally liable for its cruelty to animals and request that you investigate and halt the live animal component of the school’s ATLS curriculum as soon as possible,” wrote Jeff Dorson, executive director of the Humane Society of Louisiana.
At Tulane University, the ATLS course involves cutting open live, anesthetized pigs 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.
In March, Louisiana physician and PCRM member Leslie Brown, M.D., filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging that the institution is in violation of the Animal Welfare Act for using live pigs in a trauma training course.
Tulane has ignored pleas to start using the TraumaMan System, despite owning several of the simulators as part of its state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Medical Simulation and Team Training. TraumaMan is approved by the American College of Surgeons, which oversees the courses.
To help save animals at Tulane, visit PCRM.org/Research.
PCRM Online, September 2010