Cow simulator used to train vets
Trainee vets are learning about the inner workings of cattle using a plastic cow simulator.
Students at the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences are using two Breed'n Betsy "training aids" which are made from latex covering a metal frame and simulate the back end of a cow.
They used to teach undergraduates about the reproductive system while lessening the time spent subjecting real animals to an examination.
Mike Steele, teaching fellow in the School of Veterinary Sciences, said: "Many of our students come in to try out the simulators and as a result, the first class with a new group of students is very much more successful.
"No student is in a cow for more than five minutes now and up to 90% leave the first session having felt a uterus, most differentiating whether pregnant or not."
The simulators are designed so that if a student uses a poor technique, they will be unable to perform the desired procedure. The models also come with water-filled tubes that warm them to the same internal temperature as a real cow to simulate the real experience for students.
The simulators allow students to continually practise different techniques, including telling if a cow is pregnant, artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer. They also allow students to practice using ultrasound to check a cow's ovaries.
The university said that the simulators are so simple to use that students can teach themselves with the aid of guidance posters and have the freedom to practise whenever they want.