No Time to Waste on Animal Tests—PETA Helps Bolivia Develop Ventilators

Published by Zachary Toliver.

With hospitals overrun with COVID-19 patients desperate for treatment, Bolivian engineers and physicians had no time to waste on misleading and cruel animal experiments in the development of lifesaving ventilators.

Thanks in part to guidance from PETA and Amor por los Animales Bolivia (APLAB), engineers at the Catholic University of Bolivia in La Paz successfully developed a ventilator to treat COVID-19 patients—without it ever being tested on animals.

Reportedly, the novel ventilators have so far proved functional and safe in simulation and human trials.

Working with physicians, Bolivian engineer Fabio Díaz Palacios contacted PETA and APLAB in search of a way to avoid cruel animal tests for the newly developed “mechatronic artificial manual breathing unit” (MAMBU) ventilator project. A PETA scientist quickly located information about advanced simulators that could accurately model the human lung.

The engineers validated their new MAMBU system through tests on a human manikin with artificial lungs, as shown in this video. From there, they began clinical studies.

So far, the MAMBU system has been tested in human patients with positive results!

Hospitals everywhere need the best equipment possible to respond to COVID-19.

Animals—often pigs—used in ventilator tests are commonly subjected to intubation, anesthesia, and artificial ventilation, which is painful and distressing. Instead of wasting precious time harming animals, these compassionate engineers and physicians created a new ventilator that has tested safe in simulation and human trials.

What they’ve done is extraordinary but completely possible for every other nation. PETA stands ready to help researchers around the world find animal-free testing methods that lead to quick, reliable results.

Experimenters treat animals like miniature models of humans, when in reality, studies show that a staggering 90% of basic research, most of which involves animals, fails to lead to treatments for humans.

© iStock.com/tep2626

Pigs can bond with humans, like to play games, and even enjoy a good massage. Mother pigs “sing” to their young. Pigs have even rescued humans from drowning and fires.

All animals deserve equal consideration—they can experience pain, suffering, joy, and fear, just as we can, even though their physiology is quite different. In laboratories, experimenters treat animals—with all their personality and emotions—like inanimate science equipment.

What You Can Do

Testing for COVID-19 equipment and vaccines isn’t the only threat facing animals right now. Scores of those who were previously slated for use in archaic laboratory experiments have been deemed “nonessential” and subsequently slaughtered as university labs shutter or dramatically ramp down operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Help the animals imprisoned in laboratories at dozens of institutions. Take action through the button below:

Stop the Killing Spree Now!

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind