Madeleine Pickens Withdraws Vet School Donation, Cites Barbaric Live Animal Use As Reason

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Wild horse benefactor Madeleine Pickens used her blog today to announce that she is withdrawing a $5 Million donation from the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Pickens became incensed when she learned that the university, which happens to be her husband's alma mater, uses live animals, especially dogs, for surgical and medical procedural education purposes.

Pickens was allegedly tipped off by a student; the allegations include that OSU purchases animals from so-called Class B breeders. She called the practice of using live animals for practice "barbaric" and that she would move her donation elsewhere.

The School of Geology at Oklahoma State is named for her husband, oil man and energy magnate Boone T. Pickens.

Ms. Pickens' announcement has nothing to do directly with horses, to be sure, although horses might have benefited at Oklahoma State, but it may be a foreshadowing of things to come as Ms. Pickens works toward her ultra-ambitious wild horse sanctuary program. Institutions, companies, and individuals who hope to help Ms. Pickens spend her horse money will surely need to be in alignment with her principles.

Just for the record: Veterinary colleges have different policies about using live animals in educational exercises and all must comply with the Animal Welfare Act.

(Image credit: Madelieine Pickens and Oklahoma State's The Daily O'Collegian)