UPDATE 2/2/12: The Medical University of Southern Carolina (MUSC) would like to state that the farm pigs were used in a class to train emergency medical personnel in life saving procedures. During the procedure the pigs are under general anasthesia, and are humanely euthanized while under the anesthesia. None of the animals felt pain because they were never recovered from the anesthesia. Simulation courses at the University exist, but students and health professionals have provided feedback that reveal positive training benefits of using a live model.The USDA has requested administrative changes in the approved protocol, but MUSC was never cited violations of the Animal Welfare Act, as well as for any humane issues related to the care and use of the animals. 

The University of Colorado-Denver (CU) laboratories were accused of neglect and incompetence by PETA in a 2007 investigation. The animal rights organization has once again filed formal complaints with the federal government against the CU laboratories.

In 2007 the undercover investigations by PETA lead to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to cite the University for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. CU was issued a warning that it would be fined $10,000 per incident if another violation was found.

PETA has recently released that within the past two years the University of Colorado-Denver has had at least 60 animal welfare incidents occur. Through the Colorado Open Records Act PETA obtained documents from CU since the USDA issued a warning. The following violations have occured:

  • A worker broke a rabbit's back as the rabbit struggled against the worker's restraint. The paralyzed animal was still used in an experiment before she was finally killed.
  • Experimenters induced cancer in animals and then ineptly cut off the resulting tumors, leaving the animals--who were given no pain relief - with large, gaping wounds.
  • Live mice and rats were found in a freezer where dead animals were discarded.
  • Twenty guinea pigs died or were killed after a worker injected them with an antibiotic intended for rats.
  • A careless employee threw a box of live animals into the trash, leaving the animals to die slowly.

Jacque Montgomery, spokeswoman for CU, told The Denver Post that the University reported the incidents to the proper oversight committee or government, as well as addressed the problems.

The University of Colorado-Denver is far from the first University to come under attack by PETA for violating animal welfare laws. Below are 5 other Universities that have felt PETA's wrath.

Germany's University of Ulm

At Germany's University of Ulm pigs were cut apart, surgically mutilated and killed in the elective medical training course. Invasive surgeries like the removing of a pig's gallbladder and liver were performed while they were still alive. In 2011 PETA Germany assisted the University of Ulm in opting for non-animal options for teaching.

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

PETA discovered that MUSC was cutting holes into the throats and chests of live pigs. This practice was used while other courses at the University that were teaching the same skills used state-of-the-art simulators. In 2010 PETA released information that MUSC approved experiments on 1,500 animals without knowing how the animals would be used. A complaint was filed with the USDA for MUSC violating the federal Animal Welfare Act.

University of Utah

In the fall of 2011, an undercover investigation by PETA found dogs, cats, monkeys, rats, mice, rabbits and other animals suffered daily at the University of Utah's laboratories. The University of Utah was cited with nine violations of federal animal protection laws by the USDA. In 2011 the University put an end to experimentation on dogs and cats from animal shelters. If the University of Utah violates the animal protection laws again they can face up to $10,000 in fines per incident.

University of Michigan

In 2011 PETA obtained records from the University of Michigan that revealed that cats used in the Survival Flight lab were killed after the laboratory practiced intubation. The University officials and director of the Survival Flight lab previously reported that the cats used in the lab were always adopted after. After PETA released photos of the cats, the University agreed to begin using human simulators in their laboratories.

Washington University Medical School

PETA recently launched an ad campaign targeting the University for allowing pediatric residents at the St. Louis Children's Hospital to practice intubation on live cats and ferrets. Justin Goodman, PETA's associate director of lab investigation stated that Intubation is the single most painful process. It can cause swelling and bleeding in the throat and collapsed lungs and death if it's not done properly. PETA is encouraging Washington University Medical School to follow the leads of Texas Tech and the University of Michigan and switch from live animals to plastic mannequins.