PETA protests animal cruelty at vet school in St Kitts
BASSETERRE, St Kitts, March 14, 2008 - The world's largest animal rights organisation is protesting against what it claims is cruel teaching procedures being conducted on animals at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called on the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) to withhold accreditation from the school until it abandons "teaching exercises that harm and kill animals and switches to humane, modern teaching methods, including computer models and clinical training."
AVMA is currently conducting an accreditation process for Ross University which is owned by the Chicago-based education company, DeVry Inc.
PETA made the appeal in letter which it said it sent on Wednesday to Assistant Director for Education and Research Division at AVMA's Center for Veterinary Education Accreditation, Dr Elizabeth Sabin. The call came after the organisation received complaints and photographs from students documenting the mutilation of animals who they claimed were subjected to multiple surgeries before being killed and dissected.
Students who objected to the procedures were reportedly threatened with a failing grade if they did not participate.
"Ross veterinary students are given dogs and donkeys to care for and are forced to perform painful surgeries on them, over and over. Then they are forced to kill the animals," said PETA Research Director Kathy Guillermo.
"Ross must be penalised for forcing students to harm animals in their quest to learn how to help them."
In its correspondence to Dr Sabin, PETA contended that the activity was in violation of St Kitts' Protection of Animals Act.
"Other veterinary schools train their students without resorting to multiple surgeries on animals and euthanizing healthy animals. As the law in St. Kitts forbids causing "unnecessary suffering" to animals, we urge you to investigate this matter and suspend the accreditation process for Ross University if it refuses to discontinue its reportedly abusive and apparently illegal practices," the group wrote to Dr Sabin.
PETA said it has also contacted the director of the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Sam Condor, asking for the accreditation to be suspended.
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