March 24, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- The University of Virginia has stopped using live cats to train medical students to insert breathing tubes in newborns.
U.Va. spokesman McGregor McCance tells The Daily Progress that the university's three felines have been adopted out.
The university didn't say why it stopped the practice. The policy is still under review.
Critics of the practice say simulators should be used instead of live cats.
Dr. John J. Pippin with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine welcomed the decision. He says his group believes the practice was not only cruel but unnecessary.
University officials have said that using cats in medical training was a necessary practice that saved lives.