Bob Barker Asks University of Virginia to End Cruel Use of Live Cats
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.
“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for teaching future pediatricians,” wrote Barker in his letter to university president Teresa Sullivan, Ph.D. “This outdated and inhumane use of animals can easily be replaced with high-tech simulators based on human anatomy.”
The school claims that cats are not harmed in the process. But documents obtained by PCRM through the Virginia Public Records Act show that they are:
- Callie and Fiddle, female calico cats, suffered broken canine teeth caused by “blunt trauma.”
- Cats used in this training have plastic tubes forced down their throats multiple times per training session. Fiddle underwent this as many as 22 times in one session. It happened to Alley, a female calico, as many as 19 times during one session.
PCRM recently placed an ad that highlights these facts in the university’s daily paper. The ad directs students to VirginiaDeservesBetter.org, where they can contact the school’s president and ask her to replace the use of cats in UVA's pediatrics residency program with validated human-based training methods.
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. One of these simulators was even designed in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics.