Holiday Systems International Won’t Book Trips to Island Until Veterinary School Ends Lessons in Cruelty
For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2008
Las Vegas–PETA recently announced a travel boycott of St. Kitts over the deliberate mutilation and killing of sheep, donkeys, and goats at the island’s Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and it’s off to a rousing start. Today, high-end Las Vegas-based Holiday Systems International (HSI) became the first major travel agency to sign on to the campaign. PETA has been urging Ross to join other veterinary schools and use only modern, non-animal teaching methods. Ross recently announced that it would end invasive and terminal surgeries on healthy dogs but plans to continue to cut up and kill donkeys, goats, and sheep. PETA reminded officials that using these animals is unnecessary to the curriculum and that they feel just as much pain as their canine cousins. PETA wants the school to set up a teaching hospital to service poor residents and their animals instead.
HSI President and CEO Craig Morganson wrote the following:
[T]he apparent willingness of the St. Kitts government to allow Ross University to needlessly harm animals when the island’s animal protection law prohibits “unnecessary suffering” of animals is unacceptable. Please be assured that HSI “¦ will no longer allow our more than 300,000 clients the option of booking St. Kitts through HSI until such time [as] their government demonstrates a more civilized respect for animal welfare, and Ross University builds a veterinary teaching hospital and adopts the recommendations outlined by PETA.
After receiving complaints from anguished Ross students–including some from the U.S.–about cruel teaching procedures in which donkeys had their nerves and ligaments severed and sheep were photographed suffering from infected surgical wounds, PETA asked St. Kitts government officials to investigate the veterinary school for violations of the island’s Protection of Animals Act. The St. Kitts Ministry of Agriculture has launched an investigation, but Ross continues to conduct needless practice sessions on animals that often result in death.
“We thank Holiday Systems International for taking a bold stand against animal abuse,” says PETA Laboratory Investigations Director Kathy Guillermo. “Compassionate tourists want to enjoy fun in the sun without worrying that their vacations are supporting the mutilation of animals.”
Holiday Systems International’s letter to PETA is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site StopAnimalTests.com.