The Professional Cat Abusers
Cat dissection - photo copyright hippopiyo81 (Flickr)
It isn't just ignorant, cat haters who abuse cats. There is a very healthy market in cat abuse amongst intelligent, educated and professional people. I'll provide two examples:
Once again the caring people at cat shelters, the cat experts, are sometimes guilty of not providing a shelter but providing a supply of freshly killed cats to "biological supply houses" who then sell the carcasses to schools where they are dissected in the classroom. This is a chain of professionals abusing the cat.
Don't misunderstand me. There are thousands of great people working in shelters. But some shelters sell dead cats to businesses. It has to be as simple as that. And I have said it before, when animal shelters get involved in that sort of practice they totally undermine the whole raison d'être for their existence. It encourages bad cat caretaking by the pubic as well as there is an outlet for unwanted cats. Other suppliers to the biological supply businesses are pet stores. Sometimes the cats are simply picked up from the street. Lost your cat recently?
For people who say that it is OK because the cats are used in a good cause, I say there are better alternatives today with modern computer systems for children to be trained on animal anatomy. When I was a child we dissected animals in biology classes and that was in the 1960s. Times should have changed. There is an interesting counter argument that applies to children who want to go on to be medical students. It is said that these pre-medical trainees need to cut open real organs and bodies in preparation for a career in surgery. I can see that argument. But we don't have to deliberately kill cats do we?
I hope some school children read this. If you do and if you agree with me, perhaps you might say something politely to your teacher.
Apparently 6 million vertebrate animals are used for dissection in classroom in the United States every year. I can't find the numbers for the UK or other countries.
The Medical School
St. Louis Children's Hospital working with Washington University in St. Louis using cats and ferrets in training medical staff working in the field of paediatrics. The trainees are trained in intubation - the passing of a tube down the windpipe - in pediatric residency programs. The idea behind this is that the trachea of the cat is similar to that of a child. The process can cause injury to the cat and pain. It can even kill the cat. The tube is inserted into an individual cat's windpipe over and over again. Sounds cruel to me.
Apparently there is no need to use live cats for this training. Models (simulators) can be substituted.
It is difficult to visualise a group of educated professionals standing around a cat (which I presume is partly anaesthetised) and abusing the cat this way.
I am sure that there are other examples of what I would call "professional cat abuse". I suppose some people won't see it as cat abuse. They see it as our right to use animals this way. I don't subscribe to that backward way of thinking. We can do better and stop causing unnecessary suffering of animals that are ultimately in our care.
Below is a video provided by PETA on animal testing. The source information for this post comes from PETA and other sources. You can complain about the medical school use of cats on this page of the PETA website: Please Stop Using Cats and Ferrets for Intubation Training