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June 20, 2012

HSVMA Commends University of Missouri for Launching Shelter Partnership

Urges veterinary school to also eliminate terminal surgeries from curriculum

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association applauds the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine for recently revising its surgery curriculum to include a partnership with a local humane society. University of Missouri veterinary students are now performing spay and neuter procedures on animals from the Central Missouri Humane Society, with those animals then being returned for adoption.

The HSVMA also urges the University of Missouri to follow this step forward with the elimination of all terminal surgeries from its veterinary curriculum. Terminal surgeries are those in which the students practice surgical techniques on animals who are then euthanized rather than being recovered and adopted out.

The University of Missouri recently announced that veterinary students would no longer be performing terminal surgeries on dogs, but would instead be using pigs for surgical labs.

“The University of Missouri is obviously at a turning point in its surgical curriculum and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association congratulates them on the positive move to give veterinary students more spay and neuter training with shelter animals,” said Paula Kislak, DVM, president of the HSVMA Board of Directors. “However, it is extremely disappointing terminal surgeries are still being performed and we hope that University of Missouri will soon follow the example of many other veterinary schools and eliminate these procedures.”

Other surgical training options include partnering with shelters to perform spay and neuter and other necessary medical procedures on animals with appropriate supervision; using cadavers, simulators, models and mannequins; and expanding internship, externship and other community service opportunities.

A University of California School of Veterinary Medicine program brings shelter and rescue animals to the school for spay and neuter surgeries and necessary procedures such as closing wounds, repairing fractures and removing foreign objects. Students at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine have the opportunity to perform as many as 60 spay and neuter surgeries through its Community Veterinary Services program. More than 230 veterinary students received hands-on surgical training last year through HSVMA’s Rural Area Veterinary Services program.

Media Contact: Niki Ianni, 301-548-7793, nianni@humanesociety.org

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