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15 March 2000 Issue
NEAVS and Veterinary Schools

BOSTON, MA - Responding to requests for help from veterinary students across the country, the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) is making free information packets available on how to oppose the killing of live animals for physiology and surgical training. Currently, all of the 27 veterinary schools in America kill healthy dogs, cats, or other animals for "educational" purposes. In Britain, this practice has been outlawed.

The NEAVS packet contains sample letters to the editor, lists of available computer models (including pig, cat, frog and soon-to-be-available dog and horse), practice mannequins, and journal articles and student quotations validating the superiority of alternative surgical training. In addition, NEAVS is offering detailed instructions on how vet students can work with veterinarians and no-kill shelters to establish alternative surgical training experiences such as spay/neuter surgeries.

"Since its founding in 1895, NEAVS has had a strong commitment to educating future generations of veterinarians, physicians, researchers and scientists," said NEAVS' President Theodora Capaldo, EdD, a psychologist. "In working to end vivisection, it is imperative that students be offered a new way of thinking and doing things. We must work to change the mindset -- established early in one's professional training -- that animals are disposable commodities."

Capaldo added, "Students, especially those in professions engaged in vivisection, are the single most important population that the anti-vivisection movement must educate and support. The importance of organizations such as Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights cannot be overemphasized in achieving these changes. With the impressive body of knowledge now available proving that alternatives are educationally and scientifically superior to animal models, our ethical argument is solidly based on scientific fact. The lessons of compassion need never be sacrificed to promote learning."

Said Ann Stauble, NEAVS' Vet Ed Program Coordinator and Research Specialist, "The argument that animals killed for surgical training would be euthanized anyway is a poor one. The biggest killer of dogs and cats in this country is not a disease -- it's euthanasia due to over-population. Veterinarians and students should be fighting this killer together, not using it as an excuse to justify unnecessary cruelties and teach our future vets that animals are disposable."

Stauble noted, "In the NEAVS Vet Ed Program most of our students perform early-age sterilizations. In addition to learning surgical skills in a humane way, they're saving hundreds of animal lives. Research shows that vet students can learn both physiology and surgery through humane teaching just as well as students who participate in terminal labs."

NEAVS has been working not only to end practices such as terminal dog lab but, as importantly, to help shape a humane ethic in the veterinarians of the future. This latest groundswell of student sentiment against the abusive use of animals in veterinary education is a clear call to veterinary schools across the country to stop the killing, according to NEAVS.

To request free information packets, call NEAVS at 617-523-6020 x13;

email astauble@ma.neavs.com or visit the NEAVS Web site at www.neavs.org

Source: "Swain, April" <ASwain@MA.NEAVS.COM

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