Washington University in St. Louis on Monday announced that it was ending the use of cats in teaching medical students how to insert breathing tubes, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Animal rights groups have protested the university's use of cats in this way, noting that the university was the last to do so.
A statement from the medical school said, “After careful consideration and a significant investment in its simulation center, Washington University School of Medicine now will provide neonatal intubation training using only mannequins and advanced simulators …. Improvements in the simulators make this possible. Therefore, the university has made the decision to no longer rely on anesthetized cats in training health care professionals to perform these life-saving intubation procedures.”