August 6, 2008

Sales Demo on Live Pigs Canceled Thanks to Farm Sanctuary Members and Supporters

The Society of Gynecological Oncologists has informed Farm Sanctuary, the nation's leading farm animal protection organization, that it has canceled a "Hands-On Pig Lab" that was to take place on August 7 in conjunction with a surgical conference after receiving hundreds of calls and emails from animal advocates. Covidien Electrosurgery, which devised the "Pig Lab," is a company that performs laboratory tests on animals to market its surgical tools. According to conference materials, procedures scheduled to be performed on live pigs included: "ureteral dissection, pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy, repair of simulated bowel and bladder injury, bowel resection, ureteral re-anasomosis, and liver resection."

While the Society of Gynecological Oncologists has canceled the upcoming workshop, Covidien has not expressed to Farm Sanctuary any intention of ending the practice of mutilating and killing pigs in order to sell its instruments to prospective buyers. Formerly known as ValleyLab, Covidien has a history of controversy, including an incident that prompted the University of Colorado at Denver to ban all non-research vivisection in 2007.

"Although we are pleased that the Society of Gynecological Oncologists chose to cancel Covidien's cruel sales pitch, we must ensure these unethical marketing schemes come to an end," stated Julie Janovsky, director of campaigns for Farm Sanctuary. "The public does not tolerate such treatment of animals and our policies should reflect that."

Farm Sanctuary is urging the public to contact their federal representatives to support the Animal Welfare Accountability Improvement act, co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), which would prohibit the use of live animals to market medical devices.

Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at or by calling 607-583-2225.