Written by PETA
This just in: In response to PETA's undercover investigation of animal experiments at the University of Utah (the U) and the complaint that we filed with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U has been cited for nine violations of federal animal protection laws, including the following:
On March 27, Utah's governor signed a bill to amend an archaic state law so that government-run animal shelters will no longer be forced upon request to sell homeless dogs and cats to laboratories for use in cruel and deadly experiments. Yesterday, the director of Davis County Animal Services—the shelter that was supplying the University of Utah (the U) with most of the dogs and cats it was using in experiments—announced that the shelter will no longer participate in pound seizure, noting, "Now that we have the option, it's not law, so we decided against it."
Update: On Saturday, March 27, Utah's governor signed the bill into law, formally amending the state's pound-seizure law. This means that animal shelters are no longer required to turn over animals for use in cruel experiments. Hooray!
Thanks in large part to e-mails, letters, and phone calls from thousands of compassionate supporters, Utah legislators voted by an overwhelming majority to amend a state law so that government-run animal shelters will not be forced to sell dogs and cats to laboratories for use in cruel and deadly experiments upon request. Once the governor signs the bill, Utah will no longer have the dubious distinction of being one of only three states in the country that still mandate that animal shelters engage in this shameful practice. The new law also lengthens the required holding period for animals in shelters and mandates that shelters make greater efforts to find the guardians of lost animals.
These positive changes come on the heels of a recent PETA undercover investigation inside laboratories at the University of Utah. The shocking investigation revealed that each year, more than 100 homeless cats and dogs from government-run animal shelters in Utah are sold to the university for use in invasive, painful, and deadly experiments. In one instance, the university bought a pregnant cat from a local animal shelter and injected chemicals into her kitten's brains, causing fluid to build up inside their heads. All the kittens died.
With this new law, companion animals in Utah—and the people who care for them—can rest a little easier.
Please take a moment to contact the University of Utah and urge it to stop buying animals from animal shelters once and for all.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated the promised release of Robert—the tabby who was purchased by the University of Utah (the U) for $15 from the Davis County Animal Shelter and used in a cruel experiment in which his skull was cut open and electrodes were implanted in his brain. Robert has been adopted into a new home, but the majority of the 105 dogs and cats who were purchased from Davis County Animal Control last year remain caged in the U's labs and won't be given the same chance.
In the two months since we first released footage of our undercover investigation inside the U, PETA has repeatedly attempted to obtain documents related to the purchase of animals like Robert, but county officials have failed to cooperate, in what appears to be a violation of the state's Government Records Access and Management Act. So this morning, PETA filed a lawsuit against the county demanding access to these documents, which will shed more light on Davis County's betrayal of both animals and community members who are unaware that the beloved companions they surrender may be mutilated and killed in laboratories.
Today, PETA is also launching a new video called "Betrayal of Trust," which reveals the plight of some of the dogs and cats whom the U purchased from local animal shelters for its cruel and deadly experiments. The video contains footage from inside the Davis County Animal Shelter and the U's animal laboratories, including a clip of Lady, a friendly German shepherd whom the U purchased from the shelter for $20. Experimenters cut open her neck and implanted a medical device for a heart experiment. At the end of the experiment, Lady will be killed and "go to the dump," as one vet tech in our new video explains.
PETA's working overtime to ensure that shelter animals will no longer be betrayed by Davis County and the University of Utah. Please take just a few moments to help by contacting the school and demanding an end to this shameful practice.
Written by Logan Scherer
After reading an article in the Duluth News Tribune about the goings-on at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I took my dogs, Charlie and Lucy, for a long walk. My brain needed to mull over the angle I'd take in writing this blog—my soul needed to witness happy dogs doing dog things like sniffing tree trunks and greeting strangers, canine and human alike.
The article discussed a lengthy report compiled by government inspectors after a surprise visit last month revealed a filthy facility in which depressed dogs who underwent major invasive surgical procedures were vomiting in their cages and did not receive any veterinary treatment, university personnel did not notice or treat a gerbil who was severely emaciated and struggling to breathe, and staff were inadequately trained to handle primates. The Duluth News Tribune notes, "One major finding is that in five studies, UW-Madison researchers did not show that they tried to find an alternative to painful experiments on animals."
Unfortunately, this kind of treatment happens so frequently in university labs that it is almost routine—as awful as it is to call such horrors "routine." A recent PETA undercover investigation exposed similar cruelty suffered by cats, kittens, and dogs (purchased from local animal shelters), along with monkeys, mice, rats, and other victims of experiments at the University of Utah. At the U, what appears to be incompetence, indifference, and neglect forced many of the animals to endure severe trauma, prolonged suffering, and grisly deaths. Apparently, vivisectors at UW-Madison follow a similar modus operandi in the treatment of the victims of their experiments.
Our fingers are crossed that UW-Madison receives more than a slap on the wrist for these violations. While we keep an eye on the story, take the time to give our fight against laboratory atrocities some muscle by taking action today. Then go hug your own dog and give him or her an extra treat.
Written by Karin Bennett
This year is coming to a close, but we're not done yet: The victories keep pouring, or should I say, roaring in! We recently reported the end of cruel cat labs at Texas Tech and Robert's "retirement" from experiments at the University of Utah. Today, we're thrilled to announce yet another huge victory—this time, for thousands of monkeys.
For months, PETA has been working with an international coalition of animal protection groups to stop the construction of a massive monkey-breeding facility in Guayama, Puerto Rico. Bioculture, a company that sells primates to laboratories, had plans to capture thousands of monkeys from Mauritius and ship them to Puerto Rico so that their offspring could be sold for use in frightening, painful, and deadly experiments in the U.S. and elsewhere.
We have just learned that in response to a lawsuit filed by local citizens and PETA, a Superior Court judge in Puerto Rico has ruled in activists' favor and halted all further construction of the Bioculture facility.
Turns out there are serious problems with Bioculture's applications and permits, including that the construction of the primate facility on the land it currently occupies would be against the law. An investigation by Puerto Rico's Senate Environmental Committee also discovered that Bioculture did not properly address the detrimental impact the project could have on local citizens and their water supplies and land and stated that it "is not sensible" for Puerto Rico to support the project.
Despite this great news, I imagine Bioculture execs trying to regroup, telling themselves, "Where there's a will [for us to cash in on cruelty], there's a way." Help us nix that notion by urging officials to permanently put a stop to this monkey-breeding facility and others in the future.
Earlier this week, PETA called on caring people to urge the University of Utah to retire Robert, a sweet tabby purchased by the school for $15 from the Davis County animal shelter and used in a cruel experiment in which his skull was cut open and electrodes were implanted.
PETA has just received confirmation from university officials that Robert will be retired from the laboratory and adopted into a new home. Hip, hip, hooray!
While we pause to celebrate Robert's release, we cannot forget that other homeless cats and dogs purchased from animal shelters are still languishing in the University of Utah's laboratories.
Please speak out in their behalf by contacting the school again. Demand an end to its cruel betrayal of dogs and cats in shelters by telling the school to stop purchasing homeless animals for painful—and often lethal—experiments. Let's work to protect other vulnerable animals like Robert from this awful fate, shall we?
After pressure from PETA and our supporters, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) has announced that it will no longer use homeless cats obtained from Odessa Animal Control in deadly medical training exercises. E-mails from concerned individuals, celebrity support, and rejected newspaper ads have had an effect. Thanks to each and every one of you who took action to help homeless cats escape cruelty at Texas Tech.
Has Texas Tech abandoned the practice of shoving hard, plastic tubes down the throats of cats altogether? We're not completely sure, but documents we've obtained indicate that TTUHSC has not purchased or used cats from any source within the past year. Could it be that officials have finally wised up to recommendations from both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association, which endorse the exclusive use of manikins, not live animals, for the kind of training taught at Texas Tech?
While we nail down a definitive answer from Texas Tech officials, please take a moment to speak out against cruel experiments conducted on dogs, cats, rats, rabbits, mice, and other animals obtained from animal shelters by the University of Utah. PETA's successes depend on your support and willingness to take action. Let's keep the momentum going!
Written by Karin Bennett
"I was like, 'Um, could you make two of those?' And I'd make a cute face, and they'd roll their eyes and give me another falafel."—Natalie Portman, on how easy Brothers co-star Tobey Maguire, who brought his own vegan chef to the set, made it for the newly vegan starlet to eat humanely.
Jake Gyllenhaal hasn't issued a statement yet, but I'm willing to bet he chowed down with his co-stars on some vegan vittles too. Could you resist food from a personal vegan chef?
Written by Logan Scherer
In the wake of the recent release of our undercover investigation exposing cruelty and suffering inside animal labs at the University of Utah, students, local PETA supporters, and members of Salt Lake Animal Advocacy Movement gathered outside the university's Park Building yesterday and urged the swarm of spectators to help put an end to the cruelty committed against the dogs, cats, and other animals confined to the University's labs.
The demonstrators weren't just humans—some adorable companion animals campaigned for the cause too. Together, they collected signatures for a petition to scrap the law that requires government-run shelters to make homeless animals—even those who are friendly, trained, and adoptable—available to universities and private labs for experimentation and testing. How could you not put your name to something these guys are supporting:
Join the effort and urge the University of Utah to stop abusing shelter animals in its labs immediately.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.