Veterinary medical schools in Japan are using dogs to train students
We call for an end this cruel, unethical and outdated practice
A new Cruelty Free International investigation has revealed that in Japan dogs are being deliberately harmed or killed for education purposes, including for use in anatomy and physiology classes or for students to develop and practise their clinical and surgical skills.
Our investigation has found that several universities in Japan are using dogs as part of their curriculum for veterinary medicine. These include Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University, Kitasato University, Nihon University, The University of Tokyo, Gifu University and Azabu University.
Images and video footage of the dogs, also illustrates the substandard conditions in which they are often kept.
In recent years, there has been growing awareness by the veterinary educational profession of the unethical practice of inflicting deliberate harm on animals to train veterinarians. Cruelty Free International believes that aspiring veterinarians should not have to use animals as learning tools and instead should foster meaningful regard for their lives.
Many human and veterinary medical schools around the world are moving away from purposefully harming and killing animals to train students. Their programmes, considered to be humane, progressive and effective, employ a combination of highly effective alternatives, including simulations and models. This approach for surgical training has been shown to be far superior to the traditional, and outdated practice of using and killing animals.
Examples of models and manikins that allow veterinary students to practise and refine skills and techniques include:
- Rescue Critters - animal manikins used to teach clinical skills such as suture ties, injections, IV blood collection, placing a urinary catheter
- DASIE (Dog Abdominal Surrogate for Instructional Exercises) - used to teach abdominal surgery
- A realistic model produced by SynDaver that can replace the use of live dogs in surgical skills training. Each simulator is anatomically correct and contains lifelike bones, muscles and joints. The ‘dog’ breathes, has a heartbeat and can be programmed to simulate various diseases and medical complications. The model even has a circulatory system and the skin bleeds when surgical cuts are made.
Cruelty Free International is appealing to the Japan Veterinary Medical Association (JVMA) and the sixteen Japanese universities and colleges that offer veterinary medicine to change their practice and end the deliberate harming and killing of dogs in student training.
By doing so, universities in Japan will be joining the growing number of veterinary medicine schools in other countries across the world in providing progressive and humane training to prepare students to become effective and competent veterinarians.
Please support our call by writing to the President of the JVMA:
Dr Isao Kurauchi
Japan Veterinary Medical Association (JVMA)
Room 2356, Shin-Aoyama Building