Yushchenko A, Berreville O, Wright N, White L, Sullivan E. Elimination of live terminal surgeries in Canadian veterinary practice: The case of the Veterinary Skills Training and Enhancement Program (VSTEP) curriculum change at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). Paper presented at: The Three Rs - Together it's possible. 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences; 2011 Aug 21-25; Montreal, Canada


The Veterinary Skills Training and Enhancement Program (VSTEP) is a program at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) designed to upgrade the skills of foreign-trained veterinarians living in Canada. While the OVC has offered for years the optional use of non-harmful alternatives to the terminal surgeries performed on live animals as part of the traditional veterinary medical degree, the VSTEP included mandatory terminal surgeries on live animals. As a result of a campaign, these surgeries were eliminated in September 2010. This presentation will explore the ethical issues surrounding the surgeries in the VSTEP and the difficulties encountered by students asking for alternatives, through the experience of a recent VSTEP student and InterNICHE member, Dr. Anya Yushchenk. The presentation will also examine how an alternative program can be success¬fully implemented, and other positive change brought to a veterinary curriculum, by way of the combined effort of activists and professionals. Finally, practicalities regarding the successful elimination of terminal surgeries from the curriculum will be discussed using as an example the rescue from slaughter by Animal Alliance of Canada of purpose-bred sheep. 

Author's contacts: diver18@yandex.ru

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Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation