Docs ask feds to probe use of live animals at USC med school

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A doctors group that seeks alternatives to using animals in medical education and research says the emergency medicine training program at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine violates federal law by using live animals.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine wrote Thursday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, saying the program instructs trainees to cut into live pigs to insert needles and tubes, and to spread the ribs to access the heart. After the training session, the animals are killed.

The animal rights group has challenged the practice at other schools, including the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

In a statement, the school says its use of animals is in accordance with all laws and that a recent USDA inspection found no deficiencies.

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