Written by PETA
Sticking up for rats—who are sensitive, intelligent, and nurturing—has always been high on our agenda, although not everyone understands that these dear little mammals are worth caring about … yet.
There is hope, however. For the last 14 months, we've been funding two scientists at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) who are formulating a hybrid species that will make rats less despised. You may remember when we lodged a complaint against the INRA for the glow-in-the-dark rabbit, but sometimes good things come from bad. The rabbit genome is nearly identical to that of the rat, and we have found a way to put this science and experience to good use. Using the same zygote microinjection process (to which we still object!) that was used to create the glow-in-the-dark rabbit, these geneticists can isolate the gene that's responsible for bunnies' cotton-ball tails and then insert it into fertilized rat egg cells. The results are truly phenomenal, producing a genetically engineered rat whom no one will want to harm:
"People are almost certain to be kinder to a tiny mammal with a powder-puff tail," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "Not only would this pay off in cities that kill these animals with gut-wrenching poisons, it would also make it harder for lab assistants to force-feed toxic chemicals to them or for homeowners to watch them struggle in cruel glue traps."
Rats with a dominant gene for bunny tails can easily be released to breed with wild rodents in New York and other major cities, creating a "rat pack" whose charms no one will be able to resist.
Written by Logan Scherer
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
I ♥ Target. In addition to the mega-retailer carrying cruelty-free cosmetics and stylish, skin-free kicks, Target recently made the decision to save the lives of hundreds of frogs.
When PETA found out that Target was selling a miniature aquarium called "Planet Frog"—a tiny, plastic prison that's very similar to Brookstone's "Frog-O-Sphere"—we reached out to the corporation's execs. We told them that biologists and wildlife specialists believe the mini-aquariums are cruel and inadequate for frogs and can be hazardous to children's health, exposing them to diseases such as salmonellosis, sparganosis, and psittacosis. We also pointed out an alarming stat: Since May 2009, at least 85 people from 31 states have become ill after exposure to water frogs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Hmm … National retailers start selling frogs in tiny tanks. People all across the country get sick from exposure to water frogs. Coinkidink? Methinks not.)
We asked Target to stop selling "Planet Frog," and they agreed to do just that—easy peasy. No need to send out the troops, call on our celebrity friends, or launch a letter-writing campaign.
Brookstone execs could learn a lot from Target about how make a responsible, compassionate decision without weeks of hand-wringing. Will you ask them to follow Target's lead?
Written by Karin Bennett
For two years, we've been protesting the U.S. government's declaration of war on animals. The military abuses thousands of healthy animals in trauma training exercises, even though superior non-animal methods are available. In these exercises, pigs are shot, stabbed, and burned; goats have their legs broken with bolt cutters and cut off with shears; and monkeys are poisoned with toxic chemicals.
Now, U.S. Representative Bob Filner (D-Calif.) has joined the effort to replace the cruel and crude use of animals in military medical training by introducing the BEST Practices Act (H.R. 4269). This act, if passed, would replace the current deadly use of live animals with sophisticated, human-focused training methods, such as high-tech human patient simulators, that better prepare soldiers to treat their fallen comrades on the battlefield.
This week, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is leading Citizen Lobbyist Week, encouraging people across the country to back the BEST Practices Act and speak out in behalf of the pigs, goats, and monkeys who are tormented on military bases. You can take action by asking your congressional representative to support the bill. Get out your pleather boots, soldiers—here's to no more animal casualties!
It looks like something out of the latest Saw movie, but then that's what vivisection is all about. This stuff goes on behind closed doors all the time, and only occasionally do some of these hideous stories see daylight. This is the latest, from the folks at the University of Washington, who’ve already been slapped with a 12-month probation due to the sorry state of their labs. The shocking violations detailed in PETA's formal complaints to the federal government are now the subject of an in-depth report by Seattle's Komo TV:
"In a hidden part of the University of Washington campus, hundreds of monkeys live and die for research. They undergo experimental surgeries and tests until their usefulness is over. . But over the past year and a half, one group of researchers at the university has been at the center of a series of investigations for performing dozens of unauthorized surgeries on monkeys."
This morning, PETA called for an immediate investigation into the use of state funds for experiments at UW that may have violated federal animal protection regulations. Among the barbaric experiments being carried out at UW, monkeys are having their skulls cut open, electrodes inserted into their brains, and wire coils implanted in their eyes. They're restrained in experimentation chairs, with their heads bolted in place so that they can't move while experimenters track their eye movements, and they're deprived of food so that they'll comply during tests. Komo TV's exposé shows that this is just the tip of the iceberg:
Here's what PETA Primate Specialist Dr. Debra Durham says about the case:
"UW is using millions of dollars of taxpayers' money to torment monkeys and has broken nearly every rule in the book along the way. We're calling on state auditors to reclaim any and all state funds that UW used in the commission of this laundry list of violations."
The National Eye Institute is funding these experiments at the UW, and we're asking them to stop. You can write to them about this issue here.
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.