Mass General Ends Lethal Sheep Lab

This fall, students who are enrolled in the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training course at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) will no longer be practicing on live sheep.

The decision to end the use of sheep comes after a long campaign by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), along with support from other organizations, including Farm Sanctuary, physicians, activists and hospital employees that kicked off with a protest in 2009 calling for non-animal alternatives. Since then, over 38,000 emails were sent to hospital administrators opposing the practice. 

The sheep used at MGH were subjected to various invasive procedures “such as inserting a tube and needle into the animals’ chest cavities and cutting into their throats. After the training session, the animals are killed. The animals are also subjected to the trauma of confinement, shipping, and preparation for surgery.”

According to PCRM’s survey of 227 schools, only 9 still use live animals. The rest of the medical facilities in the U.S. and Canada offering trauma training programs use non-animal models like the TraumaMan System, Synman and human cadavers for these courses, including Harvard Medical School, Duke University, Yale University and the University of Michigan. These alternatives have also been approved by the American College of Surgeons.

With this success, attention is now being focused back on Baystate Medical Center, which is now one of the last schools in the U.S., and the only one in Massachusetts, to continue using live animals despite having their own TraumaMan System.

Send a letter to Baystate Medical Center’s president Mark Tolosky asking him to stop using live pigs in ATLS courses. 

Related Stories:

End the Use of Live Pigs at Baystate Medical Center

Doctors Bring Lawsuit Against Medical School for Animal Abuse

Animal Experimentation Attitudes Are Changing



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Ruth R.
Ruth R5 years ago

Thank You.

Jude Hand
Judith Hand5 years ago

I appreciated the additional info about the numbers of facilities using and no longer using animals and what they use instead.

Alexis Preisser
Alexis Terrell5 years ago

They are ALWAYS tortured and/or harmed! What world do you live in that you think animals being used for medical/military/scientific testing live without pain and suffering??????????

Wendy Watson
Wendy Watson6 years ago

Wahoo !!!
I feel As long as the animal is not tortured or harmed, I can not see why you can not use them to teach..
However, this is a big WIN because they were harmed..

Joy Dantine
Joy Dantine6 years ago


Suzy E.
leanne E6 years ago

At last common sense prevails. There is no justification for causing pain and suffering to animals, not even the advance of medicine for humans. I have kept pet sheep for many years and know they are just as sensitive as we are and feel the full range of emotions and physical sensations. They are also very loving and are capable of caring and concern for others including me, and they seek out my company and affection just like my dog. They are not devices for use and abuse but should be valued for the amazing creatures they are and protected from abuse. Also have written the Baystate asking them to stop using live pigs.

Jean D.
Jean D6 years ago

An another hospital comes to its senses. Finally...

Red S.
Red S6 years ago

The sheep in the photo are Shiveats (sp?). We raised them when I was a kid...for their wool. Sweetest natured sheep I have ever known. Bottle fed many when the ewe could not handle twins or triplets. Good to know MGH will no longer be torturing sheep. Question in my mind will other animals be used? For the good of science...a bunch of toro turds in my opinion.

Edmond C.
Edmond C6 years ago

Merci pour cet article

Hugh W.
.6 years ago

Just because that doctor performs the heart transplant well on a pig or sheep, I don't want him touching me. I know this sounds much more controversial to many, but why can't we use criminals who are sentenced to life or death for medical experiments. By committing these heinous crimes, I believe they have given up on being members of our society and therefore should not be entitled to any rights. This should only be done for the most heinous crimes. Though, I also believe that those that are only sentenced for short periods of time deserve rehabilitation. That is something that is not offered enough. I also think that despotic and brutal state leaders like Charles Taylor and Mugabe fall into the category of those that should be experimented on.