Friday, May 02, 2008


"It is unnecessary to harm or kill any healthy animals in order to train a veterinarian. This should be intuitively obvious by looking at the human medical field. Imagine training a physician to relieve the suffering caused by a fractured leg in a human being by taking healthy human beings and purposefully fracturing their legs. The analogy, and absurdity, is that simple."

—Dr. Nedim Buyukmihci, emeritus professor of veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis

Someone needs to pass the word to Ross University and the government of St. Kitts and Nevis.

PETA intends to be that someone.

PETA which had documented the cruelty taking place at the university's St. Kitt's campus will be hosting a demonstration outside the university's student recruiting seminar Sunday in Philadelphia.

After receiving complaints from anguished Ross students--including some from the U.S.--about cruel teaching procedures in which donkeys had their nerves and ligaments severed and sheep were photographed suffering from infected surgical wounds, PETA asked St. Kitts government officials to investigate the veterinary school for violations of the island's Protection of Animals Act. The St. Kitts Ministry of Agriculture has launched an investigation, but Ross continues to conduct needless practice sessions on animals that often result in death.

It is one of several actions PETA has taken to try and stop the needless torture.

Last month PETA sent an urgent letter to Dr Elizabeth Sabin of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Center for Veterinary Education Accreditation urging her to suspend the accreditation process now underway for Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in the wake of allegations that cruel teaching procedures are being performed on animals at the school. Ross University is located on St Kitts and is owned by Chicago-based DeVry, Inc.

PETA recently announced a travel boycott of St. Kitts over the deliberate mutilation and killing of sheep, donkeys, and goats at the island's Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.

A couple of weeks ago high-end Las Vegas-based Holiday Systems International (HSI) became the first major travel agency to sign on to the campaign.

HSI President and CEO Craig Morganson wrote the following:

"The apparent willingness of the St. Kitts government to allow Ross University to needlessly harm animals when the island's animal protection law prohibits "unnecessary suffering" of animals is unacceptable. Please be assured that HSI … will no longer allow our more than 300,000 clients the option of booking St. Kitts through HSI until such time [as] their government demonstrates a more civilized respect for animal welfare, and Ross University builds a veterinary teaching hospital and adopts the recommendations outlined by PETA."

Ross recently announced that it would end invasive and terminal surgeries on healthy dogs but plans to continue to cut up and kill donkeys, goats, and sheep. PETA reminded officials that using these animals is unnecessary to the curriculum and that they feel just as much pain as their canine cousins.

Also in April PETA sent a letter to Thomas Shepherd, president of Ross University, offering to end its campaign against the school over unnecessarily invasive and deadly veterinary training procedures on animals at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts.

In return, Shepherd would have to agree to open a much-needed veterinary teaching hospital in which students would hone their skills by treating sick or injured animals who would benefit from the procedures instead of mutilating and killing animals in surgical courses.

That apparently hasn't happened.

Last week after weeks of saying nothing outside of a somewhat mundane defense of Ross the St Kitts government stated, “The citizens of St Kitts and Nevis are peaceful, hardworking and law-abiding, and do not condone any acts of cruelty anywhere to animals or humans alike. Any insinuation by PETA that our government and people think or behave otherwise is a gross misrepresentation of our proud Caribbean culture and traditions.”

Caribbean Net News reported further the government of St Kitts said in that statement that they perceived the boycott to be a ploy to attract attention by PETA and to force the intervention of the St Kitts government “into a dispute between two privately owned and operated organisations, both of which are headquartered in the United States of America and which operate under US laws “

“The government respects PETA’s right to address issues where they have justification so to do, but their methods in this situation have been outrageous and have disrespected the fact that St Kitts and Nevis is an independent and democratic nation with its own laws. The Government urges PETA to avoid any further escalation of their threats against the international integrity and economic security of St Kitts and Nevis,” the statement concluded.

So the battle continues.

The following is from the PETA media center.

Veterinary School Should Be Teaching Students How to Heal Animals, Not Mutilate and Kill Them, Says Group

Philadelphia - Holding signs that read, "Ross University: Stop Torturing Animals," PETA members will protest outside a Ross University student-recruiting seminar in Philadelphia on Sunday. The action follows pleas for help from students who supplied undercover photographs of animals who were surgically mutilated in laboratories at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts. PETA has written to officials at Ross outlining students' objections to performing multiple surgeries on healthy animals and later killing the animals. PETA explains that other veterinary schools have ended these harmful practices and now use modern, humane alternatives. Ross has refused to replace detrimental, invasive teaching surgeries on sheep, donkeys, and goats with computer-assisted training, simulators, and other non-animal methods:

Date: Sunday, May 4
Time: 9-10 a.m.
Place: 21 N. Juniper St. (outside the Courtyard by Marriot Hotel)

PETA also is calling on St. Kitts' prime minister to enforce its animal protection law--which prohibits the "unnecessary suffering" of animals--by requiring Ross to end harmful surgeries on healthy animals. The group is urging people around the world not to book vacations to St. Kitts until Ross stops mutilating and killing animals.

"Prospective students should know up-front that Ross veterinary students are forced to sever donkeys' nerves and ligaments and conduct other unnecessary procedures on animals before they kill them," says PETA Laboratory Investigations Director Kathy Guillermo. "Ross should be teaching students how to heal animals--not mutilate and kill them."

PETA's letters to Ross University and St. Kitts government officials and undercover photographs taken at the university are available upon request.

1 comment:

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