COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A national group is paying for three billboards to protest the use of live pigs for emergency medicine training at the University of Missouri.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the billboards being paid for by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine will be visible to football fans arriving on Interstate 70. The group has filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, staged protests and offered to provide a free demonstration of a new simulator.

A letter to School of Medicine Dean Patrice Delafontaine that will arrive along with the new ads calls the use of pigs "substandard" for training medical residents.

University of Missouri officials say that the use of live animals is rare and done only for teaching procedures that cannot be taught with models.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com