Zygmunt F. Dembek's concern and alarm (Letters, The Scientist, Jan. 5, 1998, page 10) at the lack of dissection in biology courses might turn to shock when he learns that this same attitude and policy has already invaded veterinary schools. I recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin Veterinary School, and although we had dissection classes using large and small animals, the small animal surgery department made a policy decision that it was unethical to teach surgery to veterinary students using live animals.

The University of Wisconsin is not unique in this regard; the small animal surgery departments at most American veterinary schools have similar policies. The only surgeries on small animals (such as cats, dogs, rabbits, and ferrets) that students at most veterinary schools in the United States do (except for skin opening, closing, and passing instruments to the resident or faculty surgeon) are spays (ovariohysterectomy),...

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