Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way.

Urge Lackland Air Force Base to Stop Tormenting Ferrets!

Despite having acknowledged in 2011 that simulators are available to replace its cruel use of animals for pediatric intubation training and that it planned to make the compassionate switch, the Lackland Air Force Base's 59th Medical Wing in San Antonio continues to have trainees repeatedly shove hard plastic tubes down the delicate windpipes of dozens of ferrets.

This crude procedure can cause bleeding, swelling, pain, scarring, collapsed lungs, and even death. Records obtained by PETA also show that many of the ferrets used in this training at Lackland since 2012 have become so seriously ill—including suffering from severe weight loss, kidney and liver disease, heart attacks, hair loss, and stress-related ulcers—that they have needed to be euthanized.

The use of animals for intubation training has been abandoned by nearly every other military and civilian medical training facility in the country in favor of superior and humane infant simulators.

Department of Defense regulations require that alternatives to the use of animals be implemented whenever available, and military facilities such as the Madigan Army Medical Center, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Naval Medical Center San Diego, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences have replaced the use of animals for intubation training with modern simulators.

Similarly, more than 98 percent of pediatric residency programs at hospitals and medical schools in the U.S. use only non-animal methods for intubation training. Research shows that simulators better prepare medical professionals to intubate seriously ill or injured children because they more accurately replicate human anatomy and allow people to practice these skills repeatedly until they are confident and proficient.

Please contact Lackland officials and urge them to abide by military regulations by replacing the cruel use of animals for intubation training with superior medical simulators that are the standard across the country.

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