Cats No Longer Used in This Science Class
Hello, The Scratchpad here. It’s that time this week to explore the depths of the cat health news world. Today, I bring you breaking news in the world of animal rights!
In grade school, I remember hearing stories of friends that dissected a dead frog and even a dead cat in their science class. However, all these animals had died of natural causes. The only thing I dissected was a worm. Oh, and my class got to hold a sheep’s eye. Everyone thought that was pretty cool. But, like I said, these animals were dead from factors of nature.
A Survival Flight class at the University of Michigan helps train nurses what to do to help a patient survive. This class used live cats to simulate infants. Cats' windpipes were used to simulate how to open up the airway. Pigs were also used as simulators for their lungs.
Many animal rights activists including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal (PETA) argued that the use of live cats in unethical. PETA said they had been fighting for over a year for cats to stop being used in these simulations.
University of Michigan said they continued to use cats because their robotic simulators were not yet up to par. There had to be more work done on them and once there was they would stop using cats. However, PETA believes their robotic simulators were advanced enough.
PETA continued to push the issue and released a statement on December 8, 2011 about the procedures on cats,
“During the U-M labs, cats obtained from R&R have hard plastic tubes repeatedly forced down their delicate windpipes, which is painful and puts the animals at risk for serious injuries. Most of the cats are then killed.”
University of Michigan came back with this information in reply to PETA’s statements,
“…the correct information is that from 2002 through July 2011, of the 23 cats used in training, seven were euthanized and the remaining 16 cats were adopted into new homes. The cats were adopted out whenever possible, but medical conditions, behavioral problems or the inability to find a new home prevented some adoptions.”
A day after PETA released their statement that they believed “exposed” U of M procedures, U of M made a statement that they would no longer use live cats as simulators!
Brian Fowlkes, University of Michigan’s Executive Director said it had nothing to do with PETA’s allegations,
“Simulators have reached the point where we can actually make substitutions. You're always looking at the situation to determine what’s going on. It wasn’t a direct response to the PETA activities. ... We made the switch based on the evolution of the simulators.”
Like I said above, animal lovers and activists everywhere will be happy by this news. The University will still use live pigs for 1.5 hours in the 160 hour training program. In the overall picture only using animals for 1.5 hours of out of 160 is a pretty good accomplishment for animal rights. But, PETA doesn't seem to think so. They believe people should write and ask to eliminate all animal use in these training procedures.
What do you think? Should all animal testing be eliminated?
Why or why not?