When it comes to veterinary training, some schools still use, even to this day, a cruel method of teaching. New veterinarians develop their surgical skills by performing terminal surgeries. It all sounds fine and dandy, but what exactly is terminal surgery?
What is terminal surgery?
Usually, terminal surgeries are procedures in which an animal, regardless of its health, is butchered, to say the least, in order for a new vet to become experienced in surgeries(1).
But this is actually animal cruelty since there are better ways for a veterinarian to gain surgical experience, without killing a healthy animal. In this article, we hope to inform you of the good, the bad, and the ugly behind terminal surgery.
Terminal surgery is an outdated procedure in which a healthy animal is killed in order for a new veterinarian to save other animal’s lives. This may sound ethical, up to a point.
The reason why it is a bad thing is because there are other ways in which veterinarians can learn and develop their surgical skills. It is unnecessary for animals to die anymore.
It is also morally wrong to kill a healthy animal. Though most schools have abandoned this practice, there are some that still use it, and sadly, in a sort of obfuscated way and as such they can’t be stopped right away(2).
They take healthy animals from shelters, unbeknownst to the people that place them there, and butcher them. Students at these veterinarian universities may feel threatened to accept this method of teaching, fearing that if they refuse, their grades will be affected.
There are though, some students that were brave enough and refused to comply. Many reported these cruel practices while others have been morally scared by these procedures.
When it comes to comparing alternative students to their traditional-trained counterparts, most statistics show at least equivalence in knowledge or surgical skills(3).
The teaching efficiency is proven by the growing number of veterinary colleges around the world where alternatives are extensively and successfully used, through a variety of different models.
Not to mention that almost half the time that students use to learn surgical skills is wasted in performing euthanasias rather than anything else.
But what are the alternatives to terminal surgery? Well, the use of inanimate models, which can be made available at all times. Students can take them home and study even more.
They are also more economically advantageous means than purchasing, feeding, housing, and doing anesthesia on animals. The ethically-sourced cadaver is a better alternative.
Already dead animals are taken to veterinary institutions. Surgical skills can also be developed by experimenting with them. If alive animals are absolutely necessary, then there is even a third option.
Helping animals who are sick and in need of surgical operations, especially from owners who may not have a good enough financial situation to afford it.
As you can see, dear readers, there are alternatives to terminal surgery, and there are more alternatives than the ones mentioned here. There is no need to kill a healthy animal in order to save others.
The only way we can stop healthy animals from being ruthlessly killed, and even people from becoming morally scared is by pointing out these institutions which still use this method of teaching, and protest against them.
Did you know?
– Thousands of healthy animals are killed for surgical training every year. The numbers may be even greater if these operations were not obfuscated.
– Students that have been left morally scared because of practicing the old traditional system, have spoken against it and expose its practice.
– When animals are placed in a shelter, they are sometimes given to the veterinary schools to have terminal surgery performed on them. This happens without consent from the person who gives the shelter the respective animal.
– Digital simulations are also available for students who wish to learn surgical skills