Published: Tuesday, September 28, 2010
By Art Aisner, Special Writer, Ann Arbor Journal News
The University of Michigan took a strong stance last week defending its use of animals in critical-care training amid scrutiny from animal rights activists.
"We are fully in compliance of all state and federal laws and have a program that is fully accredited, funded, and I think, one of the best in the country," said Howard Rush, associate professor and the director of U of M's Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine.
The comments were in response to a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture by The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals earlier this month. The global nonprofit organization asked for a federal probe into potential violations of the 1966 Animal Welfare Act for what they called cruel and deadly training exercises performed by participants of the Survival Flight course.
PETA argued that the university's use of cats and pigs to train intubation and other trauma-response techniques resulted in injury and even death to many of the animals.
Rush and other U of M officials said the program that uses cats and pigs to train medical professionals is in full compliance with federal law and that they would welcome regulators to take a closer look.
They also criticized PETA's use of inflammatory language, and not presenting their members and supporters with all the facts.
"They are leaving out a lot of details to the general public in a campaign to discredit the university, but in reality there is nothing to be ashamed of," Rush said. FULL STORY