Written by Michelle Kretzer
It wasn't as if experimenters at New York University (NYU)
didn't know for days that Hurricane Sandy was approaching. It wasn't as if they
didn't know that federal policy requires them to at least try to protect the animals they torment and kill in experiments
from also becoming victims of a natural disaster. But the experimenters either made
no evacuation plan for the animals in their "care" or they failed to
follow through with it. Instead, they abandoned 10,000 mice and rats in a basement laboratory, who remained trapped in their cages as the floodwaters rose. Many animals—panicked,
afraid, and desperate to escape—drowned to death, while others suffocated from
the toxic diesel fumes of a leaking fuel tank. NYU was unable to give an exact
figure for the number of animals who died—remarking instead that the facility
lost 7,660 cages of mice and 22 cages of rats, with each cage holding
one to seven animals.
filed a complaint with the National
Institutes of Health, the government body that oversees federally funded
experiments, calling for an investigation into NYU's irresponsible and
unconscionable actions and inaction. In our complaint, we pointed out that the
university will likely acquire
thousands more animals to replace those who died, multiplying the
suffering caused by the experimenter's negligence.
It's not the first time that animals were left trapped in
laboratory cages during natural disasters. At the University
of Texas Medical School
at Houston, 35 dogs,
78 monkeys, 300 rabbits, and 4,000 mice and rats
drowned during tropical storm Allison in 2001. The storm also killed 30,000
mice and rats who were left in the basement at Baylor College of Medicine. Hurricane
Katrina killed 8,000 animals trapped in Louisiana State University's
laboratories, and thousands more died at Tulane.
official with the National Academy of Sciences remarked: "This happens
again and again and (research labs) never learn. Anybody with half a brain
knows you do a site-specific analysis [to understand the risk of disasters],
and it's really stupid to put your animals in the basement if you're in a flood
cruel, and inexcusable.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
Update: After reviewing
evidence submitted by PETA, the National Institutes of Health has reprimanded
the University of Colorado–Denver (CU) for repeatedly violating federal animal
welfare guidelines in its laboratories, criticized it for not reporting the
problems, and ordered the university to repay grant money used for noncompliant
experiments on animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's investigation into
CU's laboratories is still underway.
Originally posted January 29:
It's starting to feel like
déjà vu: PETA has once again filed formal complaints with the federal
government about the abuse of animals in laboratories at the University of Colorado–Denver
(CU). Through a state open-records request, PETA has just learned
that the same neglect and incompetence that we documented there in a 2007
investigation are still occurring.
The records show that during
just the past two years, at least 60 animal welfare incidents—dozens of which may constitute
violations of federal law and guidelines—have occurred, including
Based on PETA's undercover investigation, in 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited CU for serious
violations of the Animal Welfare Act and also issued the university an official
warning letting it know that it would be fined $10,000 per incident if it were found violating the law
again. It's time for the government to follow through on that warning and stop
CU's abuses for good.
Please ask the
federal government to stop funding cruel animal experiments and to put your tax
dollars toward modern, humane non-animal research methods.
Don't miss a
thing: Follow PETA on
There's one thing that both Team
Twilight and Team Hunger Games can agree on: Everyone should be on Team Tilly.
rats smarter than your search engine? The answer may make you want to Google the "Hidden Lives of Rats."
New Jersey is serious about protecting animals in vehicles. Drivers who let their Benjis ride without a seatbelt could find themselves shelling
out a few Benjis.
Blood, flesh, veins, muscles, tendons,
cow secretions, hen periods, and bee vomit? Bon appétit!
Sarasota County, Fla., officials
postponed their decision on feral hog hunting—in which dogs are allowed to
chase and maul feral hogs—in order to consider other wildlife control options. Send the county your thanks and ask it to choose humane methods.
Urban Decay is
letting its values decay—urge
the company to halt its new animal tests and remain
Written by Jeff Mackey
Anyone who's heard her recent hit "Monster" (possibly NSFW, depending on where you work) knows that music sensation Meg Myers isn't afraid to be passionate and outspoken. As she prepares to play her first L.A. concert, Meg speaks out in a new video for PETA about one of her passions—her adorable
rat companions—and urges people not to use cruel glue traps:
Rats are smart, clean animals who can be playful and affectionate companions, as Meg describes. Not
everyone welcomes rodents into their homes, though, and irrational bigotry causes
many people to resort to cruel and deadly methods when rats are spotted—the
worst of which are glue
Glue traps contain a sticky adhesive designed to capture any
small animal who wanders across them, ripping patches of skin, fur, and feathers
off their bodies as they struggle to escape. Many animals chew off their own
legs trying to free themselves, while some get their noses and mouths or beaks
stuck in the glue and slowly suffocate. Glue-trap manufacturers generally
direct consumers to throw animals away along with the trap, leaving animals to
suffer for days until they finally die of starvation or dehydration.
If you're ready
to welcome a rat into your life, like Meg, be sure to adopt from an animal shelter or a rescue organization,
instead of buying one from
a pet store.
If rats show up uninvited, though, don't panic—just get (or
make) a humane live trap and relocate your surprise guests, being sure to find and patch any openings
that allow them access to your home. And if you spot glue traps on a store
shelf, please urge the manager to carry live traps instead.
know the beef industry isn't averse to a little sleight of hand (pink slime, anyone?). So,
you would think the cowpokes could take a
good-natured April Fools' Day prank.
April Fools' Day 2010 (yes, two whole years
ago), PETA published a blog post saying that we had been funding scientists who
engineering rats to have fluffy rabbit tails. The idea was that by altering rats to be more in keeping with people's ideas of
"cute and cuddly," we could usher in a rat renaissance of sorts, encouraging people to be kinder to our besieged,
Recently, an intrepid food-industry writer found said April Fools joke, thought it
was real, and wrote an outraged article for Drovers CattleNetwork blasting PETA, rats, rabbits, and, oh yeah, cane toads and pigs (but not cows,
conveniently) for good measure.
(c) iStockphoto.com | Josiah Jost
Food Industry also waged such a scare campaign against rats that it made me
wonder if he might work for d-CON. He actually cited the Black Death, a plague
that is several hundred years removed from modern-day scourges like, say, E. coli and for which rats are no longer blamed.
has to wonder how many of the beef industry's tall tales about cow "welfare," "healthy" beef, and the industry's impact on the planet
he has also swallowed hook, line, and fluffy tail.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (although the rats were quietly knocking back some soy nog).
Written by PETA
A new experiment has once again shown that rats in laboratories have empathy for one another. In the experiment, one rat was placed in a cage with another rat who was stuffed into a tiny tube from which he or she was unable to escape. The "free" rat worked frantically to get his or her distressed friend out, even when a tempting chocolate treat was offered as a distraction.
This is far from the first time that altruism has been seen in animals used for experimentation. In one notoriously cruel experiment, macaque monkeys were given food only if they pulled a chain that electrically shocked another monkey. Nearly all the monkeys preferred to go hungry, and one macaque starved himself for 12 days. Monkeys who had previously been shocked were even more reluctant to pull the chain and subject another individual to such punishment. In PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's book The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights, she quotes astronomer Carl Sagan, who asks, "If the circumstances were reversed, and captive humans were offered the same deal by macaque scientists, would we do as well?"
Millions of kind, intelligent rats and other animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed every year in cruel experiments. You can show your empathy by clicking here to urge members of Congress to amend the Animal Welfare Act to include the protection of both rats and mice. Also, please only support companies and charities that don't test on animals.
Written by Monica Alexander
a rare case of legal
protection for a rat, a Denver woman has pleaded
guilty to a cruelty-to-animals charge for torturing and killing a rat. Tashaya
Abbott and Alison Milke bought a rat from a pet store to feed live to a snake,
but the snake did not eat the animal for four days—during which time the
terrified rodent was confined to a tank with the snake. So the young women
reportedly electroshocked, shot with blow darts multiple times, and finally crushed
the rat to death. Evidently thinking that this animal's horrific suffering and
death were something to laugh about, Milke posted a photo of the rat to her
Facebook page and boasted about the crime that they had committed.
supporter alerted us, and we immediately notified law enforcement and pushed
for the women to be prosecuted.
judge ordered Abbott to pay
a $125 fine and complete 50 hours of community service and banned her from
owning any animals for a year. There is still an outstanding warrant for Milke,
who is believed to be in Florida now, and PETA is pushing hard for her prosecution
you spot any evidence of potential animal abuse on social-networking sites, contact PETA right away, and we will
work to have the offenders prosecuted.
Do you take your
tea with a dash of blood? How about a spoonful of dead mouse? PETA's new parody
of a Nestea commercial from the '80s shows viewers why
they should avoid the brand and "take the CruelTEA plunge":
Nestea insists on testing
on mice and rats in an attempt to make health claims—despite the fact that U.S.
and European regulators have stated that tests on animals
are not sufficient to prove health claims about food and beverage products. One
test involved locking highly social mice
in dark chambers and painfully shocking their sensitive feet. In another test,
experimenters injected mice with chemicals to make them develop diabetes and
then force-fed them tea ingredients.
Share the new ad on
and Twitter to
urge everyone you know to "take the CruelTEA plunge" by pledging
to drink only cruelty-free tea. Please also click here to urge Nestea
to stop testing on animals. Unless you want to quench a thirst for cruelty,
Nestea is one brand to avoid like the plague.
by Heather Faraid Drennan
"do test" and
"don't test" lists have been an essential part of shopping for millions of
people for nearly three decades—and in all those years, we've never made a
change to the way we list companies: They either conduct (or pay someone to
conduct) painful skin, eye, and other poisoning tests on animals, or they don't.
© Jessica Florence
for the first time ever, we are launching a new category, called "Working for Regulatory Change." This
new category recognizes manufacturers that only conduct tests
on animals that are required by law and work hard to develop and lobby for the
validation of non-animal tests. The requirements for making the list are as tough
as boot camp. In addition to refusing to conduct any tests on animals that are not
required by law and devoting substantial support and human hours toward the
acceptance of non-animal methods, companies must lift the veil of secrecy and
talk openly with PETA about what tests they conduct on which species and how
many animals are used. And they have to do it every year.
such tough standards to meet, it's not too surprising that only one company is
on the "Working for Regulatory Change" list so far: Colgate-Palmolive.
Colgate has been transparent with the public and with PETA about what it does
and why, and the company has had a moratorium on all tests on animals for its
adult personal-care product line for more than a decade. In its last reporting year,
Colgate conducted no tests on animals at all.
never suggest buying products from companies that test on animals, but we also
recognize that some companies have never spent one corporate dime on developing
and validating non-animal test methods. We challenge these companies to follow
Colgate's example and stop hiding and start working for an end to all tests on animals.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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.