Petition Closed

We need your help to stop the abuse of animals by the University of Washington. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, explaining that the school is violating the federal Animal Welfare Act by using live ferrets in its pediatrics residency program. Please help this effort by asking the University of Washington to ends its use of ferrets for pediatrics residency training today.

In the pediatrics residency program at the University of Washington (UW), breathing tubes are pushed down the throats of live ferrets to teach endotracheal intubation. This painful procedure is repeated numerous times on each animal and can cause tracheal bruising and bleeding. Nonanimal training methods exist, making this use of animals not only cruel but completely unnecessary.

So far, the responsible UW faculty and administrators have ignored pleas to change this practice. Please sign our peitition and urge the school to end this cruel and unnecessary practice.

Medical simulators such as Gaumard’s Premie HAL and Laerdal’s SimNewB, which was developed in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics, accurately replicate the airway of a premature newborn and average newborn, respectively. Both of these simulators are superior training tools for endotracheal intubation compared with the use of live animals.

More than 85 percent of pediatrics residency programs in the United States do not use animals. It is time for UW to join the majority. Please tell UW today to replace the use of animals in its pediatrics residency program.

You can read our complaint (PDF) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture here.

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Letter to
Dean, University of Washington School of Medicine Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
President, University of Washington Michael Young
I am writing to ask that you immediately end the use of ferrets in the University of Washington (UW) pediatrics residency program. The use of live animals for this purpose is cruel and outdated. More than 85 percent of pediatrics residency programs in the United States use nonanimal methods for this type of training. UW already has a state-of-the-art simulation center that can easily provide nonanimal training methods, so there is no justification for the continued use of live ferrets. Further, despite claims to the contrary, medical simulators--such as the Premie HAL from Gaumard--that can replicate the airway of a premature newborn do exist. Please end this cruel and unnecessary practice immediately.