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Source: PETA media center

Victoria, Texas — For its compassionate decision to stop using live cats to teach endotracheal intubation to students, The Victoria College has been presented with PETA’s "Compassionate Teaching" Award. The cats used in the training lab were strays who had been picked up by local animal control officers. The decision was made after PETA informed College President Jimmy Goodson that a high-tech simulator called PediaSIM is used at universities and medical schools across the country.

"As you pointed out in your letter the best manikin for this type of realistic lab experience is … [a] pediatric high tech simulator," wrote Dr. Goodson. "[T]he college plans to discontinue the use of live cats in this course and use manikins as many other teaching facilities do."

Animal intubation laboratories typically involve forcing plastic tubes down cats’ throats in order to create artificial airways. This procedure, when performed by inexperienced students, often results in severe tracheal injury. Unlike a cat, whose anatomy differs greatly from that of a pediatric human, PediaSIM has all the appropriate anatomical features and allows students to perform intubations repeatedly until they learn how to perfect the procedure.

PETA included in its letter to Dr. Goodson a ringing endorsement of PediaSIM from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. PETA also negotiated a discount of more than $3,000 for the college’s PediaSIM with the simulator’s manufacturer, Medical Education Technologies, Inc.

"We’re thrilled that The Victoria College is eager to embrace this exciting new technology," says PETA Vice President Mary Beth Sweetland. "Countless cats will now be spared the fear and pain of being used in experiments, and students will be better prepared to meet their objective, namely, saving children’s lives."