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Crux of the Problem

December 23, 1990

I want to comment on an article Dec. 11, regarding UC San Diego no longer offering a continuing medical educational course that uses dogs in an instructional laboratory ("Lab Where Surgeons Practiced on Dogs Shut"). Having worked at UCSD for many years, I know that these laboratories are worthwhile and do help practicing physicians keep current with techniques for life-saving measures in emergency-room situations.

I am startled by the animal activists' position that the decision to cancel this laboratory is a victory for animals. Not one animal will be spared from death by this decision. Every dog that might have contributed to an emergency doctor's improved skills will be destroyed anyway. The fact is that tens of thousands of animals must be destroyed annually because no one wants to care for them. Using these animals in a humane and responsible way to gain invaluable knowledge should be an option.

Maybe these animal activists would better spend their time raising funds and public awareness for the need to spay and neuter our true pets, so that the real tragedy can be avoided.

CHRISTINE J. HOPKINS, Leucadia

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