Bob Barker Asks University of Virginia to Stop Harming Cats
Bob Barker has joined PCRM in asking the University of Virginia to stop using cats in its pediatrics residency program.
“I’m very concerned about the pain and suffering these animals experience,” the longtime The Price is Right host wrote to university president Teresa Sullivan, Ph.D. “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.”
When teaching endotracheal intubation, the school instructs residents to force plastic tubes into live cats’ mouths and down their tracheas. This procedure can cause tracheal bruising, bleeding, scarring, severe pain, and permanent injury. The cats are subjected to this procedure repeatedly.
The school claims that cats are not harmed in the process. But documents obtained by PCRM through the Virginia Public Records Act reveal that one cat underwent this procedure 22 times in one day. Another was used 19 times in a single day, and some have had their teeth broken in the process.
Ninety-four percent of pediatrics residency programs use nonanimal methods for endotracheal intubation training. Medical simulators based on human anatomy are designed to replicate a premature, low birth-weight child. A simulator that mimics an average-weight newborn was designed in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics.