Idaho State University Ends Use of Dogs in Medical TrainingPublished November 14, 2008
On November 7, Idaho State University announced the Advanced Trauma Life Support class will no longer use or kill dogs from a local shelter in their training. They will substitute live animal using non-animal based instruction which is presently used widely by other institutions across the country. Only two days after The Physicians committee for Responsible Medicine filed a complaint with the federal government (U.S. Department of Agriculture) on November 5, concerning the use of live animals in the ISU training course held in the Pocatello campus, ISU issued the change in training methods. Highlighting that ISU's methods of training violated the federal Animal Welfare Act, the story about the PCRM's fling their complaint was quickly picked up by the media, resulting in an outpouring of requests by animal lovers, to ISU demanding the school stop using live animals in their training course. Shelter dogs will no longer be killed for medical research Dr. John Pippin of PCRM called a local Idaho TV station saying, "It's especially inhumane and especially indefensible when there are alternatives in hand which not only would spare the animals the trauma of going through this but also would provide a better educational experience." Only a handful of schools that provide Advanced Trauma Life Support training continue to use live animals in their course. Thankfully is now ISU is joining the 90% of ATLS courses which are taught around the country using only human-based simulators. Shocking information discovered from documents obtained by PCRM through Idaho's Public Records revealed that the Animal Shelter in Pocatello was actually turning over lost or surrendered pets "including a black-and white border collie picked up when he was still trailing his blue leash" to ISU for their training classes. In the recent report, it was revealed that ISU faculty used shock collars to prevent dogs from barking. Dogs that were transported to ISU were often subjected to unnecessary stress and pain during the transition from the shelter to the school. The Idaho Humane Society was strongly opposed to the use of these dogs for the trauma class. In a statement, IHS executive director, Jeff Rosenthal told a Boise, Idaho TV station, "The people relinquishing their animals to the shelters—and these were either stray animals and some of them were owned animals—did not know that the animal would end up being utilized for medical training, and I think that's part of the problem here." The PCRM's complaint cites an ongoing 2007-2008 survey which they conducted with facilities throughout the country that offer ATLS training. They have so far received responses from 193 U.S. and Canadian Institutions revealing that 176 of those facilities exclusively use non-animals models for their training which exclusively use the TraumaMan System. ISU Boise campus is one of those facilities. ISU announced that their Pocatello class will immediately start using non animal resources for instruction. You can learn more about the PCRM campaign to abolish the use of live animals in trauma training classes by visiting http://www.pcrm.org/resch/atls/index.html Do you think that ISU’s decision to stop using live animals in their training course has further reaching implications in the use of live animals in research? Please share your opinions by leaving a comment.
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