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In response to long-running complaints from animal rights activists, Johnson & Johnson will no longer use live animals to demonstrate to sales reps how company products may be used.

The decision came after the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals protested that the health care giant’s Ethicon unit, which markets surgical products, purportedly required sales personnel to watch procedures being performed on pigs that would be killed during the demonstrations, according to the rights group.


“The use of live animals for sales training in surgical settings has been a topic of internal discussion for quite some time,” the company’s Animal Care and Use Council wrote in an unsigned Oct. 20 email to a member of PETA’s laboratory investigations division. A J&J spokeswoman confirmed the note is authentic.

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