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Victory! PETA Campaign Stops Washington University’s Cruel Cat Laboratory

Written by Michelle Kretzer | May 31, 2013

Cats can finally breathe a little easier today. After an intensive PETA campaign, Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) has announced that it will stop abusing cats for intubation training exercises in its Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course. WUSTL was the last PALS facility PETA knows of that was still attempting to train health-care professionals to intubate human infants by having them ram hard plastic tubes down cats’ delicate windpipes as many as 15 times in a row. The procedure often causes swelling and bleeding in the throat and can even cause collapsed lungs and death. Every other one of the more than 1,000 PALS facilities in the country uses superior, lifelike infant simulators, which replicate human anatomy.

WUSTL’s change of heart is a victory five years in the making. PETA supporters sent more than 75,000 e-mails, barraged the school with phone calls, and protested on campus and at fundraisers. We placed ads decrying the cruelty to cats in St. Louis newspapers and even on top of gas pumps near the school. Local activists with the Alliance for Medical Progress regularly held eye-catching demonstrations on campus. Comic artist Dan Piraro, a former WUSTL student, created a cartoon to protest the cruelty. Our good friend Bob Barker offered to buy the school human-infant simulators if it would stop abusing cats.

Finally, PETA got our hands on undercover video footage of a cat laboratory and released it to the public. And little more than a month after we did so, WUSTL ended the archaic exercises. Thank you to everyone who protested, sent e-mails, and supported this campaign. Now, please help us save cats suffering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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