The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a ridiculously misnamed animal rights group, filed a complaint with the USDA yesterday against a Massachusetts hospital that uses pigs in its trauma treatment training. PCRM claims the hospital’s use of pigs violates the federal Animal Welfare Act. But the USDA was having none of it. As a government spokesman made clear, “The use of live animals in the type of training we’re talking about here is not a violation of the Animal Welfare Act.” And a medical center chief pointed out that the pigs are fully anesthetized in compliance with the law’s requirements.
Why do hospitals use pigs for training? For one thing, pigs’ body parts are roughly proportional to those of humans. And compared to computer simulators (which is what PCRM would have doctors use), training on pigs provides more realistic experience for doctors – experience that translates into better surgery performance and outcomes for human patients.
It’s the most realistic option available for medical training. But that doesn’t matter to PCRM—or to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PCRM’s intellectual mother-ship), whose useful idiots protested outside of Camp Pendleton in August over the Marine Corps’ use of pigs for trauma training.
Animal research helps save people’s lives. But that fact takes a back seat when animal rights ideologues value the life of Babe over human lives.
Using animal welfare laws to push animal rights agendas is a favorite tactic of the bunny-hugging contingent, both at home and abroad. The Israeli Knesset considered a proposal yesterday to change the name of the country’s “Animal Welfare Act” to the “Animal Rights Act.” The legislative body shot it down, with lawmakers rejecting what one minister called the “unacceptable premise that animals have rights.”
As for our country’s Animal Welfare Act, we expect PCRM and other save-the-chickens groups to keep frivolously abusing it.