SACRAMENTO, CA (February 22) - United Animal Nations, a
national animal advocacy and rescue group headquartered in Sacramento,
today awarded Illinois veterinary student Linnaea Stull its esteemed
Animals' Choice Award.
Stull, a second-year student at the University of
Illinois Veterinary College, received the award -- which recognizes an
individual who has made an outstanding commitment to help animals in
need -- for leading a successful effort to get her school to use
alternative educational tools in first-year physiology labs instead of
killing animals during instruction. Veterinary College Dean Ted Valli
announced last month that the school would end the live animal
physiology experiments for the spring semester and evaluate the use of
Although some veterinary schools in the United States
have ended the use of live animal experiments, University of Illinois is
among a few schools that have continued to use live dogs, pigs and
rabbits to teach students about physiology. Experiments include
injecting drugs into dogs to change their heartbeat or giving pigs
chemicals that measure how their kidneys filter toxins. The animals
either die during the experiments or they are euthanized afterwards.
About 100 animals have been killed each year in the first-year labs at
University of Illinois.
Stull was among a group of University of Illinois
students who adamantly objected to the lethal experiments, arguing that
the unnecessary killing of these animals is the antithesis of the
veterinary oath to help and care for animals. To prove that such killing
is unnecessary and to encourage the school to offer alternatives, Stull
submitted 28 scientific studies to Dean Valli which outlined the
efficacy of alternative educational tools. She also submitted a list of
over 200 alternatives which met the learning objectives for the
physiology labs, such as videos and computer simulations, and a petition
of 26 signatures of first-year students (about a quarter of the class)
who objected to the live animal experiments.
As a result of Stull's efforts, the objections of other
students and the resulting public pressure and media coverage, Dean
Valli made the decision to halt the live animal labs for the spring
semester and to evaluate the use of alternatives. The school recently
invested $2,500 to examine these alternatives.
"In forcing the school to end these live animal
experiments, Linnaea has lived up to her oath to save animal life,
specifically the lives of 100 animals who were scheduled to die during
this year's physiology labs," said UAN President Jeane Westin. "As
important, she prompted the school to reconsider its policy on this
unnecessary killing and to pursue viable alternatives. She exemplifies
the commitment and caring that should serve as a role model for her
fellow students and her profession."
UAN's Animals' Choice Award includes a $250 donation
made in the recipient's name to a related animal welfare cause or
project. Stulls' donation will be given to the Humane PAC in Illinois.
This group is currently working on passage of the Illinois Dissection
Alternatives Act, which allows students through undergraduate level to
have alternatives to dissection and vivisection in their curriculum.
Stull has helped the Humane PAC educate legislators on this issue in
visits at the State Capitol in Springfield.
Previous recipients of UAN's Animals' Choice Award
include Pennsylvania Humane Officer Clayton Hulsizer, who helped shut
down the notorious pigeon shoot in Hegins, PA, and Maryanne Scudiero, a
12-year-old who marched on stage at a Ringling Bros. contest for kids
and attempted to read a statement about the cruelty that circus animals
For more information about UAN or the Animals' Choice
Award, contact UAN at
P.O. Box 188890, Sacramento, CA 95818, Tel: (916)
firstname.lastname@example.org, web site
(UNITED ANIMAL NATIONS)
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