For Immediate Release:
August 30, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Dallas – In a win for pigs, physicians, and patients, the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center has confirmed that it no longer uses live pigs for invasive medical procedures in its OB/GYN residency-training programs after hearing from PETA and obstetrics and gynecology physicians.
Animal-free methods for OB/GYN training are cost-effective, simulate real medical situations, and provide students with vital opportunities to repeat procedures until they’re proficient.
“PETA thanks UT Southwestern for ending its use of female pigs as human stand-ins and for ending its gruesome OB/GYN training methods in which live animals were mutilated,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA urges other institutions, including Oregon Health & Science University, to follow UT Southwestern’s lead by embracing superior, non-animal technology that allows OB/GYN trainees to repeat invasive procedures until they’re confident and adept.”
When PETA initially contacted UT Southwestern in 2021 as part of our ongoing survey of animal use in OB/GYN residency programs, OB/GYN physician residents there routinely performed invasive procedures on live pigs, including laparoscopic hysterectomies, retroperitoneal dissections, and tissue morcellations, which are described on the school’s website. Per records obtained by PETA, they recently performed invasive procedures on at least 13 live pigs. Dozens of OB/GYN residency programs across the country—including Rush University and Aurora Sinai Medical Center—use animal-free methods, such as in vitro systems, computer simulations, and high-fidelity human-patient simulators, and federal provisions require that animal use be replaced when possible.
Pigs’ anatomy is not the same as humans’. Familiarity with human anatomical structures is crucial for physicians, who must often make lifesaving decisions within seconds. Animal-free methods for OB/GYN training are cost-effective, simulate real medical situations, and provide students with vital opportunities to repeat procedures until they’re proficient.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.