Published: Jul 06, 2011 6:41 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 06, 2011 5:41 PM EDT

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A physician's group contends the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Chattanooga is breaking the law by having students "torture and maim" pigs.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in a faxed letter Wednesday asked District Attorney Bill Cox of Chattanooga to investigate and stop the practice.

The Washington, D.C.- based physicians group promotes alternatives to animal research. The letter contends the program at Chattanooga has students cut open live pigs and remove body parts before the animals have to be euthanized. The letter says high-tech alternatives are used at most medical schools, including UT campuses at Memphis and Knoxville.

Cox's office received the fax, but he was not available for comment.

University of Tennessee Health Science Center spokeswoman Sheila Champlin had not seen the letter and declined comment.

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