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Tell the University of Houston–Clear Lake to STOP Abusing Animals in Classroom Labs!

rats in lab

Tipped off by a distraught student, PETA has learned that rats are subjected to cruel psychology classroom experiments at the University of Houston–Clear Lake's (UHCL) main campus, even though modern and humane teaching methods are used instead in the same course at another UHCL campus.

According to course documents, the rats are deprived of food for extended periods of time and then forced into tiny plastic boxes, where they're "trained" to press a lever that delivers food to them. The student who alerted PETA to the laboratory course informed us that the rat the student was instructed to train was in such distress that she sat motionless in the corner of her chamber for 15 minutes. The student reported that rats cried out when they were handled by students—an activity known to cause rats stress and anxiety. Rats who are not adopted out after the experiments are either put back into the university's "breeding colony" or are killed.

Meanwhile, UHCL's Pearland campus offers the exact same course, but rather than experimenting on terrified and hungry rats, students use interactive computer simulations and train adoptable dogs at a local animal shelter to learn about animal behavior. These humane methods have repeatedly been shown to teach students as well as or better than lessons involving animals in laboratories.

Records obtained by PETA also reveal numerous recent violations in other laboratories at the University of Houston, including incidents in which a monkey died of dehydration after a drinking valve had become disconnected and no one noticed, a living mouse was found in a refrigerator intended for dead animals, and a mouse with severe and likely painful swelling of the stomach and inability to access food and water easily was left to suffer for days before finally being euthanized.

Please urge university officials to modernize the school's laboratories, beginning by replacing its cruel classroom experiments on rats with humane teaching methods.

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