Doctors Sponsor Bus Ads Urging NDSU to Cease Animal Use

The Physicians Committee
NEWS RELEASE November 30, 2017
Doctors Sponsor Bus Ads Urging NDSU to Cease Animal Use
Discredited medical training program continues to cause concern

NDSU substandard training bus ad

FARGO—Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine continues to urge North Dakota State University (NDSU) and Sanford Health to end their use of live animals for trauma training. The group has taken out ads in all 31 vehicles in the Fargo fleet of MATBUS city buses, reminding NDSU that 99 percent of Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training programs successfully train course participants without resorting to the use of animals. The ads will run for four weeks.

The Physicians Committee also plans to submit a petition to Dean L. Bresciani, Ph.D., president of North Dakota State University, and Nate White, chief operating officer and executive vice president at Sanford Fargo. They have collected signatures from 265 physicians.

The ATLS course at NDSU and Sanford Health is one of only two ATLS courses in the United States and Canada known to use live animals to practice medical procedures. Currently, 307 ATLS programs surveyed by the Physicians Committee report that they do not use animals, instead favoring human-relevant, anatomically appropriate training methods.

“Virtually all ATLS programs use human-modeled methods, which provide the best, most accurate training experience available today,” says John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., director of academic affairs for the Physicians Committee. “NDSU and Sanford Health’s failure to keep up with modern training methods is a disservice both to ATLS course participants and to their future patients.”

In the NDSU-Sanford Health ATLS course, trainees insert needles into the chest cavity and abdomen of live pigs and surgically access the animal’s veins. The pigs are then killed so that a surgical airway can be performed.

For a copy of the petition or ad artwork or for an interview with Dr. Pippin, please contact Reina Pohl at 202-527-7326 or

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.

Media Contact:
Reina Pohl, M.P.H.
202-527-7326 office
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