12-14-2007, 02:42 PM
I am hoping to get into Texas A&M because they're the cheapest for me (as a Texas resident). Also, all things I have heard up until now have pointed towards they're a first-rate educational facility. I recently heard from a recent A&M graduate (who just got her undergrad degree) that A&M may not be the best place to go as far as ethics are concerned. She mentioned that they often euthanize animals after practicing spays/neuters on them, when the animals would be in perfectly good condition to be adopted. Apparently they also do things while the animal is under anesthesia, like break bones, so they can practice putting them into place.
Do you guys know of things like this happening at A&M? What about other schools (especially Florida, Kansas)? Are there any good sites I can read comparing schools on this issue?
If there is already a thread on this issue, please direct me (I couldn't find one).
12-14-2007, 03:43 PM
There are schools that still do terminal surgeries. I don't know a lot about A&M, but I know Auburn does them. There is a terminal surgery elective here at Tennessee, but you are not forced to do them as part of the curriculum. Here at TN and at Auburn, purpose-bred animals are used for the terminal surgeries. Here at TN they are research beagles. The surgery is performed then they are humanely euthanized while under anesthesia. There are rules, which you will learn about at vet school, that each institution has to follow in order to be accredited to have lab animals. These rules have to do with what is and is not allowed to happen to the animals. If they are not followed, then the school loses its accreditation. When I first came to vet school, I wasn't sure I could do a terminal surgery, but now I think I might want to take that elective. But it's not for everyone. I don't know of a school that euthanizes animals after spays/neuters because at the schools I am familiar with use shelter animals, which are generally then adopted. But whether they are euthanized after the surgery is then up to the shelter.
As far as the beagles themselves, I've met them. They've been at pharmaceutical companies before they came to the vet school. They don't know life outside of their run. It's sad, but honestly, I think it's a small price to pay for the advancements in medicine we've been able to make. I'm sure this belongs more in the other thread about research animals, but I believe in using animals models, more so after coming to vet school and meeting our lab animal vets. They're as caring as any other vets I've met, if not more so.
12-14-2007, 04:09 PM
I've heard at WSU they also have the terminal surgery elective. (I'm not 100% sure, but that's what I've heard).
12-15-2007, 07:13 AM
I recently heard from a recent A&M graduate (who just got her undergrad degree) that A&M may not be the best place to go as far as ethics are concerned.
Undergrad? So she wasn't a vet. student? If not, you would be better off getting a more reliable source. Most of the veterinary school websites have information on the curriculum, including surgery labs. They will also have contact information of someone you can get in touch with for more information.
The AVAR webiste has a survey of schools' teaching labs that use animals. I'm not sure how up to date or reliable it is but you might have a look.
12-15-2007, 12:29 PM
I was appalled by KSU's program- they breed "genetic mutant" (Per a KSU student leading our tour) ponies solely to euthanize to teach student's anatomy.
On the other hand, CSU buys horses from the local kill buyer. These horses were headed to slaughter and, instead, are given a humane ending.
Western, which I adored, has the highest ethical standards I've ever seen. They are widely displaced on their website.
12-15-2007, 02:54 PM
I can't speak definitively about terminal surgeries or other practices that you mentioned (as I haven't heard much about them), but A&M does its spay/neuters on shelter animals, then they are returned to the shelter for adoption. My own dog was spayed by third year vet students - I had to wait a little longer to adopt her, since she'd already been promised to the program, but I was able to take her home a few days after the surgery
12-15-2007, 03:11 PM
From my understanding, some schools do terminal surgeries on animals from shelters who are deemed unadoptable or are otherwise unable to find a home. To me, this is much more acceptable than using purpose-bred animals - if the animals are being euthanized anyways, why not use their death for a more purposeful end?