Written by Michelle Kretzer
President Barack Obama's new $100
million BRAIN Initiative
(Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) is intended to
provide insight into human brain
function and behavior to help find cures for diseases. But considering that the
project's leadership committee is dominated by animal experimenters who have little
experience in human brain research, it's doubtful that the initiative will be either
"advanced" or "innovative" or that it will produce results
relevant to humans.
PETA is appealing to the National Institutes of Health, which was tasked with selecting
scientists for the panel, to shake up the leadership committee and include scientists
who are engaging in the human-based research necessary to solve human health problems.
of the 17 panel members are involved primarily in archaic animal experiments, which have consistently failed to find cures for human brain disorders
because of fundamental biological differences between species. In fact, in a recent Reuters article on the BRAIN Initiative, Dr. Christer Nordstedt, Eli Lilly
and Co.'s vice president of neuroscience research, said, "We've been
handicapped by the fact that we have been studying diseases in animals that don't
really exist in animals. Mice don't get depression. They don't get
schizophrenia. They don't get Alzheimer's disease."
at least some of the thousands of researchers who use ethical,
human-based research methods, such as advanced imaging and other modern technology, will
offer insights into the human brain that are not possible through experiments
on animals. That means that the initiative will get closer to finding cures
without tormenting animals in cruel and deadly experiments and wasting more taxpayer money.
You can help by e-mailing your senators and representatives and
urging them to divert taxpayer
funds away from animal experiments and into relevant, lifesaving
Written by Jeff Mackey
Following a complaint filed by PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed PETA's allegations of rampant abuse of cats in a taxpayer-funded brain experiment at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW), where actor James Cromwell was arrested during a protest last month. The USDA also cited UW for violating federal animal protection laws by burning a cat named Broc so badly with a heating pad that she required surgery.
In a scathing report just obtained by PETA, a federal inspector found "a pattern of recurring infections" and that all the cats whom PETA profiled in its complaint had been "diagnosed with chronic infections" after having steel posts screwed into open wounds on their heads and metal coils implanted into their eyes.
The USDA noted that some cats, including Slinky, have died because of these infections and that one cat named NJ even had to have her eye removed after the metal coil became the site of frequent serious infections.
The government report includes never-before-seen heartbreaking photographs of NJ, Broc, and the five other mutilated cats who are still alive in the laboratory. We now know the faces of the other victims of this laboratory besides Double Trouble.
All these new revelations confirm what PETA has been saying for months: UW tortures animals and doesn't mind twisting the truth about it. Even though it knew it wasn't true, in interviews and statements UW has shamelessly claimed that the government had not substantiated any of PETA's allegations and that it wasn't cited for its abuse of cats. In fact, during the same period it was claiming it had been cleared, UW was trying in vain to appeal the government's citation.
What You Can Do
The cats in UW's labs are suffering miserably, and they don't have time for more evasions and excuses—now exposed as deceptive spin. Please urge the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to put an immediate halt to these cruel experiments.
We're delighted to announce a crucial victory in PETA's AirCruelty campaign.
This morning, China Eastern Airlines informed
PETA that as of March 1, 2013, it will no longer ship primates to laboratories
to be used in experiments!
This ends the export of monkeys from China for use in
laboratories! Prior to this exciting development, the majority of primates
imported into the United States for experimental use were from China—in 2012, more than 10,000
primates destined for U.S. laboratories came from China. After both China Southern and Air China stopped primate shipments for experiments following pressure from PETA, China
Eastern was left as the sole transporter of monkeys from that country to
laboratories. Its compassionate new policy means that animal experimenters are left without a single airline to transport
primates from China and PETA has now been successful in shutting down this market.
In recent months, PETA had stepped up pressure on China
Eastern by encouraging our members and supporters to contact the airline via
phone and e-mail. More than 100,000 of you took action. (Thank you!) Local
activists with Empty Cages
Los Angeles and other groups also helped increase pressure recently by conducting protests
at China Eastern offices around the world.
This is an important advance in keeping primates away from
experimenters, but PETA won't rest until these smart and sensitive animals are
safe once and for all—and we hope you're in it for the long haul, too! Please urge the last three remaining
holdouts to follow China Eastern's example and adopt a formal policy prohibiting the
transport of primates destined for laboratories.
Written by PETA
We're betting that when that shameless front for the cruel animal experimentation industry, the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR), started putting up a series of misleading and offensive billboards, it wasn't expecting them to get a makeover:
While daredevils have been giving FBR a piece of their minds, PETA has our own new – and more honest – ads which are going up in cities around the country.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
In response to our January 2010 lawsuit (and with a court date rapidly approaching), Davis County, Utah, has finally agreed to abide by the law and provide PETA with the intake forms and transfer records for the approximately 100 dogs and cats that it's animal shelter callously sold to the University of Utah in 2009 to be tormented in experiments. While Davis County ended this shameful practice earlier this year, these records will show that the homeless dogs and cats who are unfortunate enough to end up cut up and killed in the university's laboratories have names and personalities and are no different than the animals whom many of us consider family and with whom we share our homes. Indeed, some were peoples' lost and surrendered animal companions.
Under the agreement, Davis County will be reimbursing PETA for 50 percent of PETA's legal fees—nearly $18,000.
Since our subsequent undercover investigation at the University of Utah, the state legislature amended the law so that government-operated animal shelters are no longer required to sell dogs and cats to laboratories for use in cruel and deadly experiments upon request. Only one shelter in the state—Lindon's North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS)—continues to profit by betraying homeless animals and selling them to the university.
Please take a moment to urge NUVAS to stop stocking the university's laboratories with helpless victims.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Victory Update: Following a year of vigorous campaigning, PETA has learned that government officials have grounded plans for a cruel and ineffective radiation experiment on monkeys. Learn more about this victory for monkeys.
The price is wrong. That's the message that PETA pal Bob Barker sent to NASA chief Charles Bolden in a letter today urging him to call off the ridiculous plan to blast dozens of squirrel monkeys with a massive dose of radiation before locking in steel cages for life.
Writes the lovely Mr. Barker, "These scientifically invalid experiments squander $1.75 million of taxpayers' money and cost animals their health and freedom, so the price isn't right on any count."
Barker joins Sir Paul McCartney, Alicia Silverstone, the European Space Agency, former NASA astronauts, and former NASA employees, in speaking out against NASA's cruel, pointless animal experiment. Let's join them!
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Last week, Discover Magazine published a blog reminding us about the 1982 animated movie The Secret of NIMH, which tells the story of a group of rats who acquired superpowers as a result of being tormented in experiments in a government laboratory. Thanks to their powers, the rats in the movie were able to escape the laboratory, but as Discover Magazine pointed out, animals in the real-life NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) aren't as lucky. Day after day, animals at NIMH are forced to endure taxpayer-funded experiments like the following:
Rats and mice can feel pain and suffer just as acutely as monkeys, dogs, and cats can, but they are excluded from the minimal protections of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)—the only federal law governing the treatment of animals in laboratories. You can help the real rats of NIMH by urging your Congressional representatives to amend the AWA to include rats and mice.
We know that chimpanzees have keen intelligence and advanced cognitive skills, so it's no surprise that scientists observing wild chimpanzees in Guinea watched them deliberately set off snare traps designed to catch and kill them (and any other passing animal)—while avoiding harming themselves. The researchers believe that this lifesaving skill has been passed down from one generation to the next.
Just like us, non-human animals of all species want to live in freedom, avoid pain, and seek out comfort. Like us, more than anything, they want to live.
But life skills and ingenuity can't save animals who are deliberately bred for laboratory experiments. Please help us stop a plan to breed monkeys for vivisection in Puerto Rico.
You think "coon on a log" is bad? Allow me to introduce you to the delightful sport of "fox penning," in which dogs are set loose on a fox or coyote confined to a pen and allowed to tear the animal to shreds.
The good news is that this despicable pastime is now banned in Florida, thanks to the efforts of PETA members and other concerned citizens, including several youngsters who were among 80 people who testified on the issue at a Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.
"I am an athlete, a swimmer, and a basketball player," stated one 10-year-old girl. "If fox penning is a sport, I would be ashamed to call myself an athlete."
Meeting attendee Susan Hargreaves reports that the "[c]ommissioners were captivated by the children's eloquence and courage as they advocated on behalf of the foxes and coyotes who are chased by packs of dogs with no hope of escape and a certain, bloody death."
The commissioners voted to permanently prohibit fox penning earlier this week.
I hope this inspires everyone to speak up for animals. If a 10-year-old can do it, so can those of us who are all growed up! You can get started by contacting the wildlife departments in states where fox penning is still legal.
Written by Alisa Mullins
It's not often that we use the word "great" to describe anything involving vivisectors, but a recent development involving a petition filed by PETA and Madison-based Alliance for Animals against sheep experimenters at University of Wisconsin (UW)–Madison is just that: Circuit Court Judge Amy Smith has determined that nine individuals may face criminal penalties for conducting excruciating and deadly decompression experiments on sheep.
You might remember that PETA and Alliance for Animals joined forces to petition for prosecution after a district attorney shrugged off his own findings that UW-Madison had indeed violated state law using decompression to kill sheep. The D.A. apparently decided that it wasn't worth his time and effort to pursue charges.
After reviewing our petition, Judge Smith decided that animal experimenters are not above the law, determining "that probable cause exists to conclude that certain named individuals … violated [a state law prohibiting the use of decompression to kill animals], either directly or as party to a crime." That means that both the vivisectors and those who assisted them with their experiments may face criminal or civil prosecution. In her 24-page decision, Judge Smith also wrote, "[T]he University has apparently engaged in behavior resulting in the above-described animal deaths for years," and noted that "it may well continue to decompress animals to death contrary to law, unless I take action." She has appointed a special prosecutor to determine whether to bring charges against the nine UW-Madison employees.
Considering that this is possibly the second time that a judge has found probable cause for criminal charges—the first was PETA's landmark Silver Spring Monkeys case—it's no wonder that news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and others are buzzing about this important development.
We'll keep you in the loop on future developments as they happen, but we—and animals—are depending your efforts to help stop animal experimentation.
Written by Karin Bennett
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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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.