One of the country's premier medical schools will no longer use live animals to train its students.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore is eliminating a popular yet controversial course in which students operate on live, anesthetized pigs. The pigs are euthanized after their surgeries.

Medical school spokeswoman Audrey Huang says the course was eliminated after a yearlong review board found it wasn't essential. Huang added that the course was popular among medical students and has received glowing reviews from alumni.

Johns Hopkins is one of two accredited medical schools in North America that use animals in medical education.

A bill was introduced in the General Assembly this year to ban the practice.