URGENT ACTION ALERT
The University of Virginia continues to use an archaic, ineffective, and extremely cruel practice that other medical schools have long abandoned: using live cats as practice dummies for intubation trainings in their pediatric residency programs, resulting in great pain and long-term injury to the cats.
According to Dr. Roberta Gray, M.D.:
During their training, residents in their program repeatedly force breathing tubes down the throats of cats, sometimes as many as 19-22 times in one day, This can cause bleeding, bruising, scarring, permanent injury and significant residual pain. At least two cats have had their teeth broken and another had adverse effects lasting days. Cats are used over and over again. People who have had a breathing tube inserted for anesthesia during surgery will often tell you that recovering from the tube was as bad as recovering from the surgery.
This is all the worse because it does not actually help in the proper education of the pediatric residency students, due to the anatomy of cats being quite different from that of humans. Modern methods, such as the use of artificial infant simulators, are clearly superior and cause no harm, so there is no excuse (nor any valid reason) for continuing the archaic and inhumane method of “practicing on cats.”
Please sign Dr. Gray’s urgent petition at Change.org to ask the UVA President to end this cruel program. You can read the petition and sign it here.