1980

PETA is formed and organizes the first World Day for Laboratory Animals protest in the U.S. and the first demonstration against chicken slaughter at Arrow Live Poultry, which was subsequently closed, in Washington, D.C.

1981

PETA conducts an undercover investigation exposing the suffering of the Silver Spring monkeys in a Maryland research facility, resulting in the first-ever police raid on a laboratory.

1981

A PETA undercover investigation results in the first conviction of an experimenter for animal abuse and the first withdrawal of federal research funds because of cruelty to animals.

1982

PETA makes legal history by filing the first-ever lawsuit to become the guardian of animals used in experiments.

1983

PETA gets a U.S. Department of Defense underground “wound lab” shut down and achieves a permanent ban on shooting dogs and cats in military wound laboratories.

1984

PETA closes down a Texas slaughterhouse operation in which 30,000 horses were trucked in and left to starve in frozen fields without shelter.

1985

After PETA publicizes the gross mistreatment of animals at City of Hope in California, the government suspends more than $1 million of the laboratory’s federal funding.

1986

As a result of PETA’s campaign, the SEMA research laboratory in Maryland stops confining chimpanzees to isolation chambers.

1987

PETA stops a plan by Cedars-Sinai, California’s largest hospital, to ship stray dogs from Mexico to California for experiments.

1988

For the first time, PETA conducts a year-long undercover investigation at Biosearch, a cosmetics and household product testing laboratory, uncovering more than 100 violations of federal and state anti-cruelty laws.

1989

PETA persuades Avon, Benetton, Mary Kay, Amway, Kenner, Mattel, and Hasbro to stop testing on animalsNote: Many of these companies have started testing on animals again in order to sell their products in China.

1990

After PETA exposes the backstage beating of orangutans by Las Vegas entertainer Bobby Berosini, his wildlife permit is suspended and his show closes.

1991

PETA’s “Silver Spring monkeys” case marks the first animal experimentation case ever heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.The court gives a unanimous, positive ruling

1992

PETA’s undercover investigation into foie gras production prompts the first-ever police raid on a factory farm. PETA convinces many restaurants to stop selling the vile product.

1993

All car-crash tests on animals stop worldwide following PETA’s hard-hitting campaign against General Motors’ use of live pigs and ferrets in crash tests.

1994

A California furrier is charged with cruelty to animals after a PETA investigator films him electrocuting chinchillas by clipping wires to the animals’ genitals. In another undercover exposé, PETA catches a fur rancher on videotape causing minks to die in agony by injecting them with a weedkiller. Both fur farms agree to stop these cruel killing methods.

1994

Less than a month after PETA supporters occupy Calvin Klein‘s office in New York—an action that leads to a meeting between the designer and a PETA representative—Klein announces that he will no longer design with fur, the first major fashion designer to do so.

1995

PETA persuades Mobil, Texaco, Pennzoil, Shell, and other oil companies to cover their exhaust stacks after showing how millions of birds and bats have become trapped in them and been burned to death.

1995

PETA’s efforts lead to the first-ever cruelty charges filed against a factory farmer for cruelty to chickens for allowing tens of thousands of chickens to starve to death. The president of the company ultimately pleads guilty.

1996

Following PETA’s campaign, NASA pulls out of Bion—a joint U.S., French, and Russian experiment in which monkeys wearing straitjackets were to have electrodes implanted in their bodies and be launched into space.

1996

PETA convinces Gillette to observe a moratorium on animal testing after a colorful years-long campaign, including the presentation of shareholder resolutions at Gillette’s annual meetings and support from compassionate celebrities Paul McCartney, Lily Tomlin, Hugh Grant, and Elizabeth Hurley.

1997

A PETA investigation that documented the anal electrocution of foxes leads to the first-ever guilty plea by a fur rancher to cruelty-to-animals charges.

1998

PETA succeeds in getting Taiwan to pass its first-ever law against cruelty to animals after the group rescues countless dogs from being beaten, starved, electrocuted, and drowned in Taiwan’s pounds.

1999

Undercover investigations into pig-breeding factory farms in North Carolina and Oklahoma reveal horrific conditions and daily abuse of pigs, including the fact that one pig was skinned alive, leading to the first-ever felony indictments of farm workers.

1999

PETA conducts an undercover investigation into the Nielsen Farmspuppy mill in Kansas, which reveals extremely small enclosures and rampant sickness, abuse, and death. Our investigation leads to the closure of the facility and a $20,000 fine from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Nielsens are also “permanently disqualified from being licensed” by the USDA.

2000

Following the group’s investigation, PETA convinces Gap Inc., J.Crew, Liz Claiborne, Clarks, and Florsheim to boycott leather from India and China, countries in which leather production causes immense animal suffering.

2000

After a campaign that lasts 11 months and includes more than 400 demonstrations at McDonald’s restaurants in more than 23 countries, as well as advertising and celebrity involvement, McDonald’s becomes the first fast-food company to agree to make basic animal-welfare improvements for farmed animals.

2001

PETA persuades Burger King to adopt sweeping animal-welfare improvements, including conducting unannounced slaughterhouse inspections and giving hens more cage space.

2001

Shortly thereafter, following a vigorous PETA campaign, Wendy’sfollows suit, announcing plans to change some of its rules regarding the handling and slaughter of the animals used for its food.

2002

PETA’s efforts lead to the confiscation of six undernourished polar bears from a tropical circus, in which they were underfed, whipped, and forced to perform in sweltering temperatures.

2003

Evidence submitted by PETA leads to the mandatory relinquishment of all 16 elephants used by the Hawthorn Corporation, an elephant-rental company.

2004

PETA persuades chemical companies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to drop plans for numerous painful chemical tests, sparing tens of thousands of animals.

2005

Following PETA’s campaign, Honda, PUMA, Keds, and other companies pull their commercials featuring great apes. Several corporations pledge never to use great apes in advertising in the future.

2005

Thanks to PETA’s lengthy campaign to push PETCO to take more responsibility for the animals in its stores, the company agrees tostop selling large birds and to make provisions for the millions of rats and mice in its care.

2006

PETA convinces Polo Ralph Lauren to stop selling fur. The furs were pulled from store shelves and donated to those in need in Mongolia.

2007

After uncovering cruel experiments funded by major beverage manufacturers, PETA convinces POM Wonderful, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola to end all animal tests.

2008

PETA elicits agreements to make major improvements in farmed-animal welfare from Safeway, Harris Teeterand the company that controls the purchase of chickens for KFCs in Canada, which also start offering faux-chicken menu items.

2008

The Ad Council signs PETA’s Great Ape Humane Pledge. In 2012, it extends its pledge to include a ban on all wild animals in advertising.

2008

PETA’s investigation into Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., part of the self-proclaimed “world’s leading poultry breeding company,” reveals that workers tortured, mutilated, and maliciously killed turkeys. Three former employees are indicted on felony cruelty-to-animals charges—the first felony charges for abusing factory-farmed poultry in U.S. history—and two become the first factory farmers to be convicted of abusing turkeys. One man is sentenced to one year in jail—the strongest penalty levied for abusing a factory-farmed animal in U.S. history—and all three are barred from owning or living with animals for five years.

2008

PETA investigates a pig-breeding factory farm in Iowa and uncovers horrific treatment of sows, boars, and piglets. The manager of the farm is fired, and the evidence results in 22 criminal charges against six workers, all of whom admit guilt and are sentenced to serve up to two years’ probation.

2009

PETA’s investigation into animal dealer U.S. Global Exotics prompts the largest animal seizure in history—more than 26,000 animals. The owner flees the country to evade federal charges

2009

After receiving the video of PETA’s exposé of extreme suffering in the trade in exotic-animal skins, Stockholm-based international retailer H&M becomes the first retailer to adopt a policy banning products made from exotic skins in all of its 1,800 stores worldwide

2009

After nearly a month of intense PETA campaigning against horrific combat training exercises conducted by the Bolivian military—in which live dogs are shown in a video tied down, repeatedly stabbed, and screaming in agony—the Bolivian Ministry of Defense ends the killing by issuing the military’s first-ever animal protection regulation, which “prohibit[s] all acts of violence, exploitation, [and] mistreatment that provokes the death of animals.”

2010

A petition co-filed by PETA leads a court to determine thatUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison staff members may face prosecution for violating state law by killing sheep in decompression experiments.

2010

After discussions with PETA, Japan’s ITO EN, Ltd.—the world’s largest green-tea manufacturer—institutes a new policyprohibiting all animal testing. Also after discussions with PETA,Lipton tea soon follows suit.

2010

Following a year of vigorous campaigning, NASA cancels plans fora $1.75 million study in which dozens of squirrel monkeys would have been exposed to a harmful dose of radiation.

2010

Just one week after PETA releases the results of its shocking undercover investigation into Professional Laboratory and Research Services and files a complaint with the USDA, the North Carolina–based contract animal testing facility surrenders nearly 200 dogs and more than 50 cats and closes its doors. This is only the second time in U.S. history that a laboratory has been forced to surrender animals and shut down.

2010

Less than six months after PETA releases its undercover investigation into laboratories at the University of Utah, Utahlegislators vote overwhelmingly to amend an archaic state law so that government-run animal shelters will no longer be forced to sell dogs and cats to laboratories on demand.

2011

The USDA fines Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus $270,000—the largest fine ever paid by an animal exhibitor—for violations of the Animal Welfare Act after PETA presents the agency with unequivocal evidence of animal abuse, including beatings, the negligent death of a lion, lame elephants forced to perform despite chronic pain, and a baby elephant who died during a training routine.

2011

PETA blows the lid off Ringling Bros.‘ violent training methods when a whistleblower shares photographic evidence from Ringling’s training compound revealing how baby elephants are torn away from their mothers and subjected to violent training sessions so that they will learn how to perform tricks.

2011

PETA releases video footage from an investigation showing howelephants used by Ringling Bros. are whipped, beaten, and yanked by heavy, sharp steel-tipped bullhooks behind the scenes prior to performing.

2011

In the first case of its kind, PETA, three marine-mammal experts, and two former orca trainers file a lawsuit asking a federal court to declare that five wild-caught orcas forced to perform at SeaWorld are being held as slaves in violation of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The filing—the first ever seeking to apply the 13th Amendment to nonhuman animals—names the five orcas as plaintiffs and seeks their release into their natural habitats or seaside sanctuaries.

2011

After intensive campaigning by PETA, the U.S. military ends the use of monkeys in the Army’s cruel chemical-attack training course.

2012

All the top 10 advertising agencies in the United States—McCann Erickson, BBDO, Y&R, DDB, Ogilvy & Mather, TBWA, Draftfcb, Grey, JWT, and Campbell Ewald – sign PETA’s Great Ape Humane Pledge, banning the use of great apes in their advertising.

2012

After meeting with PETA, apparel and accessories companyHaband removes all down-filled items from among its offerings and becomes the first company to implement an official policy banning the sale of down feathers.

2012

After PETA donates simulators to Egypt, the country ends all use of animals for medical trauma training.

2012

PETA exposes disturbing video footage taken by a whistleblower during a trauma training session conducted by military contractor Tier 1 Group for members of the U.S. Coast Guard, which shows thestabbing, shooting, and dismemberment of live goats. Following an official complaint from PETA, the USDA cites Tier 1 Group for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act for failing to provide the goats with adequate anesthesia before they were mutilated.

2012

After two years of PETA campaigns and a lengthy lawsuit brought by PETA and local residents, the Supreme Court of Puerto Riconixes a plan by the Bioculture corporation to set up a monkey-breeding facility and sell monkeys to U.S. laboratories.

2012

By funding scientists to train Chinese government officials in the use of non-animal testing methods, PETA launches an effort to stop China from requiring tests on animals for cosmetics and household products. As part of its effort, PETA convinces cosmetics company Urban Decay to reverse its decision to sell its products in China, and John Paul Mitchell Systems pulls out of the Chinese market rather than having its products tested on animals.

2012

PETA’s exposé documenting that cosmetics companies were secretly paying for tests on animals in China and our funding of scientists to train officials there lead to that nation’s acceptance, by the end of 2012, of its first non-animal tests for cosmetics ingredients.

2012

Following PETA’s investigations and campaign, a sweeping set of reforms is introduced and accepted by many horse-racing tracks, including softer whips and limitations on whipping, increased drug testing, and mandatory horse ambulances on the track.

2012

The horse-racing industry implements its first-ever industry-supported retirement plan for thoroughbreds.

2012

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission bans the use of furosemide, or Lasix, a commonly used drug that can mask other drugs and lead to horse breakdowns.

2012

After decades of conducting cruel experiments and just six months after PETA purchases stock in the company in order to introduce a shareholder resolution on animal testing, BIOQUAL announces that it will end its use of chimpanzees. Formerly known as SEMA, BIOQUAL was first exposed in 1986, when PETA released footage of chimpanzees locked inside tiny isolation chambers at the facility. 

2012

After two horses die on the set of the HBO horse-racing series Luck, PETA goes public with information obtained by whistleblowers as well as necropsy reports from the racing board revealing that older, arthritic horses had been used in dangerous and deadly racing sequences and that the horses appeared not to have been provided with adequate protection. After a third horse dies on the set, HBO announces the cancellation of Luck and ceases all production on the series.

2012

After a long and hard-fought battle by PETA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and concerned citizens, Ben the bear is rescued from abhorrent conditions at a North Carolina roadside zoo. FedEx transports Ben free of charge (dubbing the mission “Bear Force One”) to the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s beautiful accredited wildlife sanctuary in northern California. There, Ben will live out the rest of his days splashing in his own pool, basking in the sun, and rolling in the grass in a 2-acre habitat designed especially for him.

2012

After a two-month PETA undercover investigation documenting that thousands of animals were being neglected and dying and many more are being cruelly killed, law-enforcement officials raid Global Captive Breeders—a company in Lake Elsinore, California, that bred and sold reptiles and rats for the “pet” trade. This results in the largest rescue of neglected rats in U.S. history and the largest seizure of animals, including more than 600 reptiles and 18,000 rats, ever in California. Local authorities charge the owner and manager with a total of 223 felony cruelty-to-animals and related charges.

2012

PETA prevails in a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for illegally issuing captive-bred wildlife permits. This victory allows PETA to keep a closer eye on animals bred in captivity, weigh in on permit applications, and bring legal challenges against permits that are improperly issued to Ringling Bros., SeaWorld, Have Trunk Will Travel, and other animal abusers.

2013

After years of imprisonment in concrete pits at Chief Saunooke Bear Park in Cherokee, North Carolina, 11 bears were finally freed following a years-long campaign and PETA undercover investigation that forced the roadside zoo to pay a fine and surrender its exhibitor’s license to settle more than a dozen charges for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. After a private benefactor generously offered to purchase the bears, they were quickly transferred to their new home at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Dallas, where they can now walk through tall grass, dig in the dirt, climb trees, take a dip in a pond, and just live as bears are supposed to live.

2013

PETA—along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, investigative journalists, a political journalist, a university history professor, and animal rights advocate Amy Meyer, who had recently been arrested for filming a downed cow at a Utah slaughterhouse—files a groundbreaking lawsuit challenging Utah’s “ag-gag” law, which prohibits the documenting of animal abuse at agricultural operations. The plaintiffs contend that this agribusiness law amounts to an unconstitutional attack on investigators’ First Amendment rights.

2013

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Following decades of campaigning by PETA, the U.S. Army announces that it will reduce its use of animals for deadly trauma training exercises and restrict training for many military personnel to exclusively modern non-animal methods.

2013

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After hearing from PETA that many sheep used for their wool endure a painful procedure called “mulesing,” in which huge chunks of skin and flesh are cut from their backsides without any painkillers, more than 50 national and international clothing retailers, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Liz Claiborne, H&M, Kenneth Cole, Perry Ellis International, and Express, state that they will use wool that comes only from nonmulesed sheep, as the industry begins to phase out the cruel practice.

2013

Following PETA’s efforts to end dehorning in the dairy industry, in which calves have their horn buds burned off with no pain relief, companies such as Chipotle, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and Amy’s Kitchen begin to pressure their suppliers to stop this cruel mutilation. Aurora Organic Dairy, the leading producer of private-brand organic milk and butter, is now breeding exclusively with bulls who carry the hornless gene.

2014

The first ever undercover investigation into the angora wool industry showed screaming rabbits being tied down and their fur ripped from their bodies, leading to a ban on its sale by dozens of international companies including H&M, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Lands’ End, and others.