Lawsuit targets HCMC's use of live animals for medical training

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A physician advocacy organization has filed a federal complaint against the Hennepin County Medical Center over its use of live animals for medical training. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the sheep and rabbits are no longer needed for emergency medical training because of advances in simulated surgical methods and high-tech mannequins.

HCMC says it has reduced the use of live animals and has plans to eliminate the practice, but that there are a few critical lifesaving procedures that can only be effectively taught with animals.

The Star Tribune reports the doctors' group filed its complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging the practice violates the Animal Welfare Act.

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