UPDATE: Following a PETA campaign and efforts by our friends at Humane Research Australia, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has announced that it’ll phase out the use of live animals in its Early Management of Severe Trauma programme.
A costumed PETA “pig” hand-delivered a petition with more than 100,000 signatures to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ (RACS) head office in Melbourne yesterday.
The petition calls for an end to live-animal trauma training for surgeons attending Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST) training courses. RACS continues to cut holes in the throats, chests and limbs of live pigs and sheep, even though most other countries have switched to human simulators and Australia requires the use of non-animal training methods whenever available.
Mutilating and killing animals is not only cruel but also completely unnecessary and expensive. It’s also an inferior method of training surgeons to operate on humans. PETA took this message straight to the college’s doorstep in the hope that it will accept our offer to provide human simulators free of charge.
TraumaMan is a popular tool designed specifically for this training that replicates a breathing, bleeding human torso, complete with realistic layers of skin and tissue, ribs and internal organs. It has lungs that breathe and even bleeds when cut. PETA has offered to provide RACS with free TraumaMan simulators at all facilities where EMST courses are taught.
Studies show that doctors who learn life-saving surgical skills on TraumaMan are more proficient than those who cut open animals, and simulators have been approved since 2001 as full replacements for live-animal trauma training in EMST and equivalent courses.
Many other countries have embraced simulators. The US military recently banned the use of animals in its equivalent of EMST.
It’s time Australia stopped dragging its heels and caught up with other countries that provide their surgeons with cutting-edge training.
Add your voice in support of this important issue.