At the University of Virginia (UVA) breathing tubes are pushed down the throats of live cats to teach endotracheal intubation. This painful procedure is repeated numerous times on each animal and can cause tracheal bruising, bleeding, and severe trauma. Nonanimal training methods exist, making this use of animals not only cruel but unnecessary.
Further, UVA acquires cats for this training from an animal dealer (Liberty Research of Waverly, N.Y.) with a history of repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Between July 2009 and April 2011, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors found 11 violations of the AWA, highlighting Liberty Research’s lack of sanitation and maintenance of housing units for cats and dogs.
So far, the responsible UVA faculty and administrators have ignored pleas to change this practice. Please e-mail UVA School of Medicine dean Steven DeKosky, M.D., and urge him to end this cruel and unnecessary practice. Send an automatic e-mail.
Gaumard’s Premie HAL and PREMIE Blue simulators, designed to mimic the airway of a premature newborn; Laerdal’s SimNewB, which was developed in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics; and METI’s BabySim can all be used for this type of training. UVA’s state-of-the-art simulation center already owns a BabySim so the switch to simulation can be made immediately.
More than 94 percent of pediatrics residency programs in the United States do not use animals. It is time for UVA to join the majority. Please e-mail Dr. DeKosky today and ask him to replace the use of animals in UVA’s pediatrics residency program.
You can read our complaint to the USDA here.
Thank you for your help.
John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.
Director of Academic Affairs