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End the suffering of cats at the University of Virginia, please join group, sign petitions, fax and send sample letter

May 21, 2012

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Live cats are used in a cruel pediatrics residency training program at the University of Virginia. PCRM’s recent federal complaint says this is unlawful and that the university already owns a simulator that better mimics newborn anatomy.

Pediatrics training at the University of Virginia (UVA) includes repeatedly forcing a plastic tube through the mouth and into the windpipe (trachea) of a live cat. Animals used in this training procedure can suffer tracheal bruising, bleeding, scarring, severe pain, and they are at risk of death.

“It is unnecessary to traumatize and harm animals to teach pediatric emergency procedures, especially when validated simulators developed to replace animals are widely used,” says Josie Kinkade, M.D., a local physician who co-signed the federal complaint. “A newborn’s anatomy is different from a cat’s, and residents at UVA can get a better education using human based medical simulators.”

UVA’s state-of-the-art medical simulation center already owns a simulator validated for this training. Numerous pediatrics residencies use the Gaumard Premie HAL and Premie Blue simulators, which mimic the airway of a low birth weight premature newborn.

PCRM’s complaint, which was filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Eastern Region Animal Care office, states, “UVA is violating the AWA because superior training methods exist that could replace the university’s use of live animals and alleviate this severe pain.” The complaint also cites inadequate oversight in the approval of the training protocol by the school’s animal care and use committee.

The Animal Welfare Act’s implementing regulations “require that a principal investigator—including course instructors—consider alternatives to procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to any animal used for research purposes.”

Nonanimal education methods are exclusively used by 94 percent of U.S. pediatrics programs, including those at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Inova Fairfax Hospital and Hospital for Children, and Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, according to an ongoing PCRM survey.

To take action and learn more, visit


End the Suffering of Cats at the University of Virginia


UVA President: Stop Cruel, Outdated Trainings On Cats

Stop Live Cat Testing at the University of Virginia


Email Block , sd3zc@Virginia.EDU ,


Steven T. DeKosky, MD, Vice President and Dean, UVA School of Medicine, dekosky@virginia.edusd3zc@Virginia.EDU P.O. Box 800394, Charlottesville, VA, 22908, Ph: 434-924-5118

James P. Natarro, MD, PhD, Pediatrics Chair, UVA Medical Center,, P.O. Box 800386,Charlottesville, VA, 22908, Ph: 434-924-5093

Fax number for Dean DeKosky: 434-982-0874

Click HERE for free faxing from your computer.  No fax machine, credit card, or registering required. Please be certain to confirm you message by clicking on the link sent to your email address or else your fax will not be sent.


Dear Dean DeKosky and Pediatrics Chair Natarro,

I was shocked to learn the cruelty inflicted on cats by the University of Virginia Medical School, which continues to use live cats as test subjects for students learning intubation procedures for research, the efficacy of which is questionable at best, and lethal at worst. I am part of a group whose mission is to effect an end to experimenting on cats: These experiments subject the cats to enormous suffering and pain, forcing breathing tubes down their throats, up to 22 times per day; the dats are used a few times a year, which means that over the course of their time in the lab, they will undergo dozens of administrations of anesthesia and hundreds of intubations!  These tests cause bleeding, bruising, and significant residual pain.

We are requesting you immediately discontinue testing on cats, given the enormity of the issue and the unnecessary abuse: human simulators are available and have proven superior to outdated and inhumane testing on cats. The majority of schools in the US and Canada use human patient simulators, and Canada uses no animals for their testing programs: unlike animals, whose anatomy is different from human babies, the infant models of this simulators are anatomically correct and provide a greater and more efficient mode of testing. Students who use human simulators achieve a greater understanding and performance of intubation procedures.

As such, it is important to recognize that the University of Virginia causes considerable abuse on cats, which is significantly unethical, especially concerning the alternative humane human simulators. It would be a shame to have to dismiss the University of Virginia, but until this outrageous abuse stops, I and others will collectively boycott your school.

Thank you for your time.


how can one call oneself a healer,
if they are conducting themselves
like a death dealer:(

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

3 Comments leave one →
  1. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    May 21, 2012 7:19 pm

    how can one call oneself a healer,
    if they are conducting themselves
    like a death dealer:(


  2. karinwikoff permalink
    May 22, 2012 9:02 am

    Fax letter sent, to go along with the e-mail I sent last week. Karin


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