Touché Wash U, You Manipulated Us All--But It Won't Happen Twice:
An Open Letter from Your Local Critics
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 22, 2013 - ST. LOUIS, MO
We’re thrilled to have put enough pressure on Bo Kennedy and Wash U to help force an end to the cat intubation lab within Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) courses offered by the school and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. But, of course, we all learned that Kennedy is still insisting on using animals for the exact same procedure recently discontinued in PALS classes--now only within WUSM residency training, where outsiders can no longer get a look behind the lab doors.
Is that because of the embarrassing fact that Wash U is an outlier in the medical community, representing one of only three schools still using animals for intubation training? Or because the procedure itself makes people rightly uncomfortable, as defenseless animals have plastic tubes repeatedly forced down their delicate airways?
With the May 31st statement from Children’s Hospital rep Jackie Ferman, everyone believed the cat lab had closed for good. Yet in a deceptive move even we didn’t think you’d make, Drs. Kennedy and Cole outed Wash U as having lied by omission to everyone waiting to see the permanent end of this inhumane operation.
Kennedy and Cole’s June 12th op-ed to the Post-Dispatch was meant to clarify the previous statement, and to alert the unsuspecting public that you are still sentencing animals to lives of confinement and abuse to serve a medically unsound training program. Obviously you knew that if you didn’t make a proactive statement, word would’ve leaked out, and the outrage over your secrecy would’ve been even bigger. It’s all one big PR maneuver, and don’t think for a second we don’t recognize it for exactly that. Truly, Wash U, your arrogance is staggering.
What you may not have accounted for, however, is the backlash you have just unleashed, not just from us, but from the public watching this cruel spectacle unfold. To be sure, we have already begun strategizing our next moves. Not only will our efforts be redoubled, but they will be diversified. You will see us and hear us everywhere.
Let’s also set the record straight. While we have worked in tandem with PETA and other advocates from around the world to end the cat lab, we are not, as the Post-Dispatch and other media outlets have reported, “PETA representatives.” We are a group of local activists who represent a concerned local citizenry that includes students and staff from your own institution. We are the people who stand outside your medical campus to protest nearly every week, who attend and coordinate events to educate the public about what’s going on within your labs, who leaked photos from inside your vivarium, and who watch your every move from right here in our shared city.
And we will not stop. This campaign is not over until each of the cats and ferrets used for intubation is in a proper home and there is a public, official statement from Washington University that no more animals will ever be left to suffer Bo Kennedy’s egomania and abusive whims. Until then...
Wash U Lies by Omission, Animals to Continue Suffering at Kennedy's Hands
But be sure...there will be no rest for the wicked.
Official AMP statement in response to June 12th news coming soon.
Washington University's Cat Lab: Confirmed CLOSED on May 31, 2013
While PETA has been fighting the cat lab from afar for five years, it was collaboration with our on-the-ground grassroots group that pushed the issue in front of the local public and amped up the pressure on Washington University's directors. Between having a big national group on their backs and having committed local animal activists in their front yard, Washington University was quickly faced with a wall of voices that were not letting up until the animals were safe and Bo Kennedy's lab was closed for good. The campaign included a variety of tactics, from PETA's undercover video leak to AMP's photo leak from inside the vivarium; from a mass mailing to Wash U's directors to phone-in days that included calls from activists around the world; from targeted leafleting in the community to weekly protests outside the medical school campus.
So this victory belongs to all of us. To every one of you who supported this campaign in any way: THANK YOU. (We'll go ahead and say it on behalf of the cats--because you know they would if they could.)
All the News That's Fit to Shame Wash U
On the heels of PETA's release of this undercover video shot inside Wash U's cat intubation lab, a slew of media stories in the area started circulating. Especially when Missouri native and beloved gameshow host Bob Barker chimed in on behalf of the cats.
Check out all the coverage at the following links:
Riverfront Times (piece 1 of 2)
Riverfront Times (piece 2 of 2)
WUSTL Student Life (coverage)
WUSTL Student Life (alumnus letter)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch & STLToday.com (piece 1 of 2)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch & STLToday.com (piece 2 of 2)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch & STLToday.com (letter to editor)
KTVI Fox 2 News
KSDK Channel 5 News
Let us know if you find more coverage and we'll get it posted in the news round-up!
World Week for Animals in Laboratories 2013
Join us to raise public awareness, pressure local institutions, remember the animals already killed, and fight for those still inside the labs.
Anonymous campaigner releases a video that's sure to make the PALS directors squirm.
St. Louisans Demand "Christmas Cats" Released from WUSM Lab
ST. LOUISANS DEMAND END OF WASH U CAT LAB BY CHRISTMAS, VOW TO “STEP UP” CAMPAIGN
Protesters to Make Loud Spectacle Outside Medical Campus
DATE: November 30, 2012
TIME: 11:30 AM - 1 PM
LOCATION: Forest Park Pkwy. & Euclid Ave.
ST. LOUIS, November 29, 2012
Animal activists will vent their frustration with Washington University in another demonstration against the school’s use of live cats in intubation trainings. Friday’s protest marks the official call to WUSM to discontinue the use of cats in their Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) courses by the end of this year. Organizers are calling the animals “The Christmas Cats” because they’re asking PALS directors to relinquish the felines by December 25th. Veterinary care from Spencer Creek Animal Hospital and living arrangements at Five Acres Animal Shelter and Sacred Ground Animal Sanctuary have already been arranged for the cats.
“St. Louisans—and not just activists—are so angry this is still happening in their city. After the animal rights conference held here last month, activists are even more fired-up to win this campaign by any means necessary,” says Laura Shields, protest coordinator. The demonstration outside Wash U’s medical campus will feature a simulation of the intubation process, as well as chanting, the use of bullhorns, and other protest tactics. Shields adds, “If Bo Kennedy and the rest of the PALS directors continue to ignore the requests of their community, then we’ll continue to step up the campaign.”
In addition to releasing the cats in use at Wash U’s laboratories, protesters want PALS directors to start using the Saigh Pediatric Simulation Center at Children’s Hospital for teaching students how to intubate. This is in accordance with American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations. The AHA governs curriculum for the PALS classes, and does not condone the use of animals in their courses.
Fight to End Use of Cats at WUSM Continues Until Victory
LOCAL ANIMAL ACTIVISTS VOW TO CONTINUE CAMPAIGN UNTIL CAT USE HAS ENDED
ST. LOUIS, ONGOING
Activists and concerned citizens from around St. Louis promise Washington University that protests and public outreach will only end when live animals are no longer used for medical training. Protests include using bullhorns, distributing flyers that call on the public to contact Wash U directors, and even demonstrating a live human simulation of a practice activists call cruel and unnecessary.
Demonstrators bring attention to intubation training in a class co-sponsored by Washington University and Children’s Hospital. The Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) class requires students to forcibly insert breathing tubes into cats’ throats. This can cause bleeding and swelling of the throat, cracked teeth, punctured lungs, and death.
The American Heart Association (AHA), which designs the PALS curriculum, states that it does not condone the use of animals in its course. The AHA recommends that PALS training be done on “lifelike human manikins.” PALS students have access to these manikins at the state-of-the-art Saigh Pediatric Simulation Center in Children's Hospital.
Organizer Laura Shields states, "Everyone we talk to wants to know why live animals are still being used when more ethical, more reliable models are available. The fact is Wash U doesn't have a good answer for us, for them, or for the animals.” Shields goes on, “We've already done several protests, and we’re prepared to be here as often as it takes to free these cats and make sure no more are brought in for the program.”
Regular demonstrations against what activists call "the cat lab" began in August and have continued monthly.
All Eyes on Wash U as Activists Protest School's Animal Research Programs
Animal Rights Conference & Protest in St. Louis Target Wash U
ANIMAL ACTIVISM EVENTS FOCUS ON ST. LOUIS INSTITUTION
ST. LOUIS, OCTOBER 21, 2012
Animal rights activists from around the country will converge in the Gateway City at the end of October for a conference focused on winning the war against animal experimentation. St. Louis was chosen as the conference location in part because it is home to one major target of opportunity: Washington University.
National organization Stop Animal Exploitation Now and local groups St. Louis Vegans and St. Louis Animal Rights Team are hosting the landmark conference, Free the Animals: Effective Action Against Vivisection.
"This conference will empower and energize activists across the U.S. to attack the animal experimentation issue head-on and to make concrete changes for the tens of millions of animals who are imprisoned in laboratories."
In addition to featuring a dozen speakers, the conference will kick off with a free screening of Project Nim presented by film subject Bob Ingersoll. Attendees will also be able to put tactics learned during the conference into effect during the wrap-up protest at Washington University.
Project Nim with Bob Ingersoll @
Friday, October 26th at 6:15 PM
Free the Animals: Effective Action Against Vivisection @
Saturday & Sunday, October 27th & 28th
Washington University Protest @ Washington University in St. Louis
Monday, October 29th at 10 AM
Conference Speaker Line-Up
Green Hill Liberation
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
United Poultry Concerns
Save the Chimps
Animal Liberation Frontline
Win Animal Rights
Project Nim Foundation
Dr. Stephen Kaufman
Medical Research Modernization Committee
Save the Chimps
Dr. Shirley McGreal
International Primate Protection League
South Florida Smash HLS
Stop UBC Animal Research
Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!