Veterinary Medical Schools

Following the list of information, there is a section on literature that is either referred to or is relevant to the subject of veterinary medical schools and their policies or programs relative to humane education.

If you are aware of other information you believe to be important to include here – current information on a particular school’s program regarding humane education methods or potential issues in this regard – please send the information to HEVM. It will be researched, and if relevant and verified, will be included here.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine simulation-based veterinary learning

Describes the simulation-based approach being used at Cornell, with an indication that more will be developed.

School of Veterinary Medicine, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

Although it has been claimed that there is a University-wide policy for conscientious objection, as of 2023-12-14, that content has been removed from public access.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, National Major University of San Marcos

In 2009, the Laboratory of Animal Anatomy and Wild Fauna of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, National Major University of San Marcos, Peru, implemented the use of ethically sourced animal cadavers. This was announced in 2011.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University

Although they have not had terminal surgical training for some time, in 2010, they instituted a policy of obtaining cadavers using a body donation program instead of non-ethical sources. A progress report of the successful, preliminary results was announced in 2011.

School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow

They have implemented various alternative, humane methods of teaching in various disciplines. A summary of some of this can be seen in Dale et al 2003.

School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Copenhagen

Although they have developed a surgical skills lab, as of 2012, they continue to kill animals in their surgical teaching program, as reported by Langebæk et al 2012

St Petersburg State Veterinary Academy

The Department of Pharmacology had used many hundreds of animals each year. A policy change to use only humane alternatives was announced in 2011. Further information is available through an information sheet by InterNICHE.

The University of Adelaide School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

They have a policy of at least considering a student’s objection to harmful use of animals in her or his education. This was reported in an article by Whittaker and Anderson, 2013.

The University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science

They may have a policy of at least considering a student’s objection to harmful use of animals in her or his education.

Their surgical instruction program as of 2012, was reported by Gopinath et al 2012.

Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

From their site on alternatives: Some of the essential factors to consider are the mindset of the educator and institutional policies that govern animal use in teaching. Thus we must not only demonstrate that techniques are taught effectively and at reasonable cost, but also that in a profession where an appreciation for animal welfare should be foremost, the impact on animals is a positive one.

University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

They have a Clinical Skills and Simulation program.

University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College

From reading their Surgical Exercises, VETM*4540, Fall/Winter 2014-2015 course outline, it appears that no terminal or harmful use of animals is integral to at least their surgical and anesthesia training curriculum.

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine

They were one of the first veterinary medical schools to develop and institute curricula in which no animals are killed. A spokesperson verified this in 2017 (personal communication).

One of their instructional programs is Veterinary Assessment Laparoscopic Skills for advanced training.

The following includes literature or other information cited above or which is relevant to the issue of humane education at veterinary medical schools in general. The titles are linked either to a publicly available copy of the document or to a digital object identifier. If there are illustrations which may be publicly viewable, these are also linked, but there is no guarantee that they would be viewable across all platforms.

Blom, H.; Wolschrijn, C.; den Harton, I. and Wittevrongel, C. 2011-01-01 New replacement alternatives used for training students in veterinary medicine in the Netherlands ALTEX 28(Special Issue):215 (Abstract 434)

The Utrecht University and ds RAT [Dutch Society for Replacement of Animal Testing] agreed to join forces to introduce a body donation program aiming at a full replacement of laboratory animals by pets euthanized for health related causes. After roughly half a year the initiative already can be called a success.

Dale, Vicki H.M.; Johnston, Pamela E.J. and Sullivan, Martin 2003 Learning and teaching innovations in the veterinary undergraduate curriculum at Glasgow Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 30(3):221-225

Gopinath, Deepa; McGreevy, Paul D.; Zuber, Richard M.; Klupiec, Corinna; Baguley, John and Barrs, Vanessa R. 2012 Developments in undergraduate teaching of small-animal soft-tissue surgical skills at the University of Sydney Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 39(1):21-29

Figure 1
Figure 1

OHE [ovariohysterectomy] is the ideal procedure to teach basic surgical skills such as instrument and suture handling, hemostasis, and gentle tissue handling. It is a prophylactic procedure generally performed on all shelter animals before re-homing. Therefore, theoretically at least, large numbers of animals should be available as learning opportunities to allow students to perform this procedure repeatedly at spay/neuter clinics.

In the last decade, veterinary teaching institutions world-wide have increasingly recognized that the ability to perform any surgical procedure directly reflects the student’s ability to perform a collection of individual skills combined with their possession of sound scientific knowledge.

Looking to the future, we aim to further incorporate surgical models and simulators, such as DASIE and the newly developed OSM [ovariohysterectomy simulator model], as significant tools for the teaching of basic surgical skills. The earlier implementation of these may be desirable to achieve greater vertical integration, concurrent with the teaching of veterinary anatomy and physiology. A clinical skills laboratory is being established to provide fourth-year students with opportunities to use surgical models and simulators as needed.

You may be able to obtain a copy of the paper from: ResearchGate

Langebæk, Rikke; Eika, Berit; Jensen, Asger Lundorff; Tanggaard, Lene; Toft, Nils and Berendt, Mette 2012 Emotions in veterinary surgical students: A qualitative study Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 39(4):312-321

Figure 2
Figure 2

The Danish veterinary curriculum is divided into a three-year bachelor and a two-and-a-half-year master’s program. Basic Surgical Skills is an eight-day course offered in the fourth year of the curriculum (first year of the master’s). … and (4) four days of practicing surgery on live research pigs. The research pigs are humanely euthanized at the end of a day’s surgical practice. Four students work with one pig, performing a range of surgical procedures (gastrotomy, orchiectomy, cystotomy, enterotomy, intestinal resection, and tracheostomy) in order to practice basic skills in different contexts.

You may be able to obtain a copy of the paper from: ResearchGate

Novosaduk, T.; Jukes, N. and Maroueva, E. 2011-01-01 Curricular transformation at St Petersburg State Veterinary Academy ALTEX 28(Special Issue):216 (Abstract 492)

Whittaker, Alexandra and Anderson, Gail I. 2013 A policy at the University of Adelaide for student objections to the use of animals in teaching Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 40(1):52-57

We believe that provision of a conscientious objection policy should be universal in life sciences teaching where animals are involved. …aside from legislative or ethical requirements imposed by a country’s regulatory framework on the institution, students are often the key advocates for using alternative teaching practices that do not make use of animals. This has prompted many institutions with veterinary and other life sciences teaching programs to develop student-conscientious objection policies to the use of animals in teaching. In this article, we discuss the procedures implemented to make provision for student-conscientious objectors at a new Australian Veterinary School, at the University of Adelaide. We also describe the processes to provide information to students and faculty on this issue and to facilitate information gathering on alternatives.

You may be able to obtain a copy of the paper from: ResearchGate

Updated 2023-12-19