Bob Barker Wants UVA to Stop Using Cats in Medical Training

Former game show host upset over training with live animals

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    Bob Barker has been a long-time animal rights activist. The former “Price is Right” host always signed off his show by reminding viewer to have their pets spayed or neutered.

    Now, Barker is taking his animal rights fight to the University of Virginia.

    Barker has written a letter to the university’s president, urging the school to drop a medical training technique that involves live cats.

    “I’m very concerned about the pain and suffering these animals experience,” he wrote in that letter. “And I’m also worried that pediatrics residents are being short-changed on their education.”

    The technique in question involves training graduate physicians on how to insert breathing tubes into premature newborns. Barker wants students to learn on simulators, not live animals. University of Virginia officials say simulators don’t do as good of a job as cats.

    Ironically, Barker gave $1 million do the university in 2009 to help establish an animal law program.

    In November, Barker was a vocal supporter of Virginia congressman Jim Moran's bill to restrict the use of wild animals in the circus.  Last summer, he wrote a letter to the city of Rockville urging them to ban deer hunting.