Bob Barker Asks University of Virginia to End Inhumane Use of Live Cats in Labs
Bob Barker, longtime host of The Price is Right and advocate for the humane treatment of animals, has joined PCRM in asking the University of Virginia to end the use of live cats in its pediatrics residency program.
January 23, 2012
Teresa A. Sullivan, President
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400224
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Dear President Sullivan,
As a proud supporter of the University of Virginia, I am writing to ask you to end your university’s use of live cats for teaching future pediatricians. This outdated and inhumane use of animals can easily be replaced with high-tech simulators based on human anatomy.
When teaching endotracheal intubation, UVA instructs residents to force a plastic tube through the mouth and into the trachea of live cats. This painful procedure can cause bleeding and bruising. And the cats don’t just go through this once—they are subjected to it over and over.
I’m very concerned about the pain and suffering these animals experience—and I’m also worried that pediatrics residents are being short-changed on their education. Practicing on cats is not the best way to learn how to perform this critical procedure on newborn babies. That’s why 94 percent of pediatrics residency programs have replaced animal use with more effective nonanimal methods.
These methods include programmable human patient simulators with anatomically correct airways. The devices respond to procedures as a human infant would.
The University of Virginia has made great strides in standing up for animals with a commitment to animal law within the School of Law. It is time that the School of Medicine makes the same commitment. These animals and the future patients of UVA’s pediatrics residents deserve better. Please take immediate action to replace the use of cats for endotracheal intubation training with validated, human-based medical simulation.