Billboard Attacks NDSU for Using Live Animals in Medical Classes

Attack ads against NDSU and Sanford are popping up in Fargo, criticizing a joint program that uses live animals to help train first responders.
 
Aa medical advocacy group is taking its plea public, claiming NDSU and Sanford are violating ethical standards by using, and killing, animals for the sake of education.
 
Drivers heading into Fargo on southbound I-29 are being welcomed by a billboard calling out NDSU for using live pigs for first responder training, and allegedly killing them afterward.

The Washington D.C.-based group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine paid for the ad.

Dr. John Pippen with the group says more than 99 percent of colleges and universities use non-animal human simulators to train students.
 
“They’re at the very bottom of the current practicing standards,” Dr. Pippen adds. “We feel the public should know about it.”
 
He says statistics show live animal tests are a substandard way to train emergency responders, and are an immoral way to treat animals.
 
He says, “Using animals and subjecting them to these very invasive, damaging procedures and killing them for a substandard educational experience, we feel is also ethically invalid.”
 
This is not the first time the Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine has come after NDSU. They called out the university also in 2011.
 
“We filed a criminal complaint,” Dr. Pippen explains. “There was no interest in the prosecutor’s office in pursuing that. We weren’t surprised.”
 
Both NDSU and Sanford released statements defending live animal testing.

Sanford says, “We continue this practice based on positive feedback from the physicians and advanced practice providers who currently care for injured patients.”

NDSU adds, “Appropriate protocols and federal guidelines are followed in the training that is conducted by Sanford or other medical organizations in this setting.”

Dr. Pippen says he hopes the ads will lead to a public discussion, and possibly a change.

In addition to the billboard, Dr. Pippen sent a letter to NDSU president Dean urging him to end live animal training at the university.

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