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Animals Mutilated, Burned at UTMB

Written by PETA | January 5, 2011

Update: Based on PETA complaints documenting abuse and neglect of animals in the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston’s laboratories, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken the rare step of fining the facility $9,143 for egregious violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act—including failing to supply veterinary care to a sheep who had been used in experimental back surgery and could not stand up, failing to supply adequate veterinary care to a goat who died on an operating table, and failing to supply post-procedural pain relief to three sheep used in experimental surgeries.

Update: After reviewing our evidence, the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspected UTMB’s laboratories and confirmed our findings of multiple Animal Welfare Act violations.

A whistleblower at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) has contacted PETA to report horrifying—and potentially illegal—abuses of dogs, sheep, monkeys, mice, and other animals who were tormented for experiments in the school’s laboratories.

The insider reported that as a result of experiments in which dogs were cut open and had tubes surgically implanted in their colons, one dog died during surgery and another suffered in pain and died when staff members didn’t provide post-operative painkillers. UTMB experimenters also induced spinal cord and nerve damage in sheep, and in one instance, a sheep apparently couldn’t stand for three days following surgery and was given no pain relief. Mice apparently died from dehydration, and a monkey was locked in a room all by himself, even though monkeys require social contact with other members of their species to maintain sanity and physical health.

In other procedures conducted in this hellhole, experimenter Daniel Traber subjected sheep, pigs, and mice to third-degree burns on up to 40 percent of their bodies by searing off their skin with a Bunsen burner or a scorching-hot metal rod and forced the animals to inhale smoke.  

PETA has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an immediate investigation into these disturbing allegations. You can help by sending an e-mail to UTMB President David L. Callender urging him to investigate these allegations and, if abuses are confirmed, to discipline those responsible.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Virginia says:

    Honestly, where do you draw the line in allowing people to get away with this down right blatant and disgusting abuse. Do these people not have any feelings. Prosecution of these people would be too kind and they deserve the same kind of torture they inflinct on these precious, helpless creatures. These autrosites must be stopped!A suggestion would be to use the criminals sitting in your jails or find other methods without using any kind of animal.

  • tiana says:

    please someone tell me what is wrong with the world we live in today, i dont understand how someone can put this innocent and loving animals in such pain and watch them suffer. People like that are the lowest, most sickening and just plan evil people in the world but the sad thing is that theres just not enough people that care to do something. Honestly people that hurt and put animals through a life of misery just make me sick i will hold my tounge but i do wish and i do prey that these people will suffer and be put through horrible things just like these poor animals had to suffer, your sick and mentally screwed up people it really does take a evil person to do this. I dont care what you think about what im saying because animals need a voice and i will do whatever i can to help and support peta and other animal foundations. ANIMALS ARE NOT OURS.

  • vilna says:

    c’est ignoble de faire subir de tels actes sur des être vivants, vous êtes inhumains sans coeur et sans âme vous me dégoûtez. Cela ne sert à rien de faire de telles expériences vous m’écoeurez les animaux sont des êtres sensibles et souffrent comme nous, aimeriez vous que l’on vous fasse la même chose cessez cela tout de suite vous me répugnez et encore le mot est faible

  • Elve says:

    This inhumane treatment of animals needs to stop now. With the advances in technology thats available none of this needs to be done on live animals so why is it? Take action now people & end this cruelty, it’s just sickening to see what happenens to these vunerable creatures 🙁

  • iris neuwirth says:

    Nehmt für eure grausamen Versuche Kinderschänder , Mörder und Tierquäler und lasst diese armen Tiere in Ruhe ! Gott wird euch alle zur Rechenschaft ziehen für eure Taten !!!! It is a shame , to be human !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lisa Armstrong says:


  • Laura Calderon says:

    What is wrong with people! how dare you treat innocent creatures this way? how would you feel if you couldn’t talk and were treated this way?!!

  • Ms. Pea says:

    Dear University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston: I don’t know what made any of you the ruthless people you have become and frankly I don’t care. Since you clearly possess the ability to condone and facilitate these abhorently cruel practices, perhaps something less empathetic will garner your attention. AMERICA IS WATCHING YOU NOW. Your school will soon have the reputation it deserves thanks to you and now that this has been brought to the public’s attention, you can be certain you will receive the notoriety you and your school deserve. That’s how that works with today’s fast-paced information technology you know. Isn’t it wonderful? You can think of it as Free Publicity. If you are proud of torturing animals by cutting into them and burning their bodies until they are raw and writhing in pain and performing other painful procedures you should be thrilled to know that you and your school will become known for just that. Oh wait, you already ARE known for that (fast-paced technology and all that, as previously mentioned). You have a unique opportunity here to effect both your school’s reputation as well as the support it receives via funding and donations as well as enrollment. What takes place at your school in the way of animal cruelty is looked upon with utter disgust and disdain by the majority of people in this country who are looking into colleges for their children and sadly many of us were not aware that your University, The University of Texas Medical Branch of Galveston, partook in this unnecessary and cruel practice. Since you fall sorely short in the integrity department perhaps we can count on you to make better decisions based on your desire to not want your school exposed for something that makes DECENT PEOPLE sick because you see, that’s going to effect your bottom line, financially speaking. We are the ones who pay your salaries by sending our children to your school for their education. On the flip-side, consider this: If you END THIS REPREHENSIBLE PRACTICE, the publicity you receive will depict you as a wonderful example of what a respectable school does and you will attract people of integrity, both employees and students. There are other methods of teaching medical procedures that don’t involve live animals. USE THOSE. Step up, evolve and show some real courage. A Horrified Citizen and Parent of a College-aged Student

  • judy ki says:


  • mj says:

    I won’t even look at the pictures but this is flagrant animal abuse that requires jail time – any judge should acknowledge this sham cloak of research and put an end to them once and for all. These abusers should be sent away to set the consequence example for prospective abusers.

  • Vicki D says:

    When will this nightmare end. It’s appauling it’s disgusting and inhumane to think that these so called medical institutions can inflect such pain and torture in the name of science…you people are barbaric!!!!!!

  • Deborah Walsh says:

    You need to stop these horrific experiments immediately. Perhaps you would like the same thing done to you?

  • Haydé Ardalan says:


  • Judy says:

    texan94 ~ ever hear of the human genome project??  do your research.  the thing about people like us is that we don’t want to see anyone (animals and humans alike) suffering.  and there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHATSOEVER for this horrific and undeniably cruel treatment of innocent, DEFENSELESS animals.  

  • kimberly says:

    monsters is right! can’t even find the words to describe. this is what we are teaching our children? heartbreaking ugh why sooo cruel

  • Martha W says:

    These experiments are inhumane and sould be stopped immeiately.

  • PdxBb says:

    When will they learn that these “expeirments” produce no real cures etc. for humans. T let animls suffer in the name of science is SICK! The greatness of humanity is NOT being human but in being humane!

  • Carolyn Bratton says:

    Please put yourselves in the position of the animals suffering this most inhumane cruelty. Have compassion and stop this insane treatment now.

  • Maria Ines Reynal says:

    Please, stop cruelty against animals. They suffer and feel pain and solitude.

  • Monika says:

    No comments!

  • Raquel Medina says:

    Thank you so much PETA. All of you are an Angel !!!

  • celia says:

    Thanks a lot PETA for all you do for the animals, because they are NOT ours, they are for living and stay with us in peace

  • Angeles Guasp says:

    THAT CRUEL! ALREADY COARSE I wish that the responsales will go to the jail, NOT TO TORTURE, NOT TO KILL, NOT TO CLEAR the SKIN, NOT TO SUFFER, IS URGENT am necessary to respect to the animal, AM URGENT to teach to our met children, hunters, friendly, doctors and that ” the animal are alive beings, who they feel and they suffer in the same way that we human them!

  • AP says:

    Besides the cruelty and inhumane, this is so backwards.Whats wrong with these people? Are they that cold and insensitive? They seem so inhuman I can’t imagine they have children and families to go home to. It’s just sicking.

  • Cynthia says:

    Seen this years ago and still can’t get those images out of my mind . And still going on , these animals are at the mercy of monsters and its legal and funded by the goverment . And us as taxpayers are funding it . thank you

  • John Moszyk says:

    Stop the animal abuse NOW!!!!!

  • Virginia Schmidt says:

    These experiments are totally mortifying and hard for people to believe there are human beings conducting these type of experiments without any feelings for the kind of pain and suffering. Makes you wonder what kind of people we are dealing with on this earth. Its as bad as the China fur trade. Thank God for PETA and people stepping up to expose this kind of cruelty.

  • Irina Seifert says:

    It is horrible! One should really stop it!

  • Adriana Rodriguez says:

    I can’t stop crying by imagine all these things that are happening in that University. My heart is just broken to read all of these horrifying things. In this era, 2011, this is out of the question, there are some other methods to do research, using this animals is just abuse and torture. How sad is this situation, I hope the responsables are going into jail and have a psicologycal exams because if they can do this with no regrests it means that they can become serial killers and do the same with people.

  • kelly says:

    when are these people gonna stop torturing these animals, I know god will punish them when there time has come and I think that they deserve to suffer! some people are just so ignorant and stupid!

  • AnImAlS_aRe_AmAzInG says:

    PETA is a good program i love what they do they give every one the true information. Honestly every time i see something like that i wanna punch the person right in the face!!!!

  • Kristin Martin says:

    Frankly I don’t care what the research may or may not do for burns victims–its WRONG. Thank you PETA, for filing a complaint against this hellish, psychotic cruelty to animals. I hope that we all, through emailing David Callendar, can make sure they put a STOP to this forever.

  • Marla says:

    Thank You Peta for all that you do to help our animals I sent an email to David L. Callender and I support you monthly don’t know what we would do without you again thank you 🙂 🙂

  • Romina says:

    oh my god. how can they sleep at night knowing the damage they caused to those innocent animals. Great work Peta

  • ocean17 says:

    that is just plain barbaric, these “experiments” are totally worthless, have no validity and are sadistic. thank you PETA for keeping up the good work.

  • OMG says:

    I cried when i read this.

  • chem86 says:

    Imagine someone tieing you down and burning your flesh off your body. Then you watching your murderer as he comes towards you ready to eliminate you after his experiment is over.

  • PETA says:

    Re: texan94. PETA advocates more humane and more accurate testing methods–none of which involve testing on children. Despite their years of use, animal-based skin corrosion studies have never been properly validated. In fact, evidence exists that animal studies are highly variable, of limited reliability, and generally poor predictors of human skin reactions. Human skin equivalent tests such as EpiDerm™ and EpiSkin™ have been validated and accepted in Canada, the European Union, and virtually all other member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as total replacements for animal-based skin corrosion studies. These methods consist of normal, human-derived skin cells, which have been cultured to form a multi-layered model of human skin. To learn more about animals used for experimentation, and the alternatives, please read:

  • ferdinand freinthaler says:

    warum nehmen diese schweine nicht ihresgleichen für ihre perversitäten!!! ODER VIELLEICHT KINDERSCHÄNDER !!!

  • Amanda says:

    What is wrong with Americans and they’re shocking abuse of animals in experiements??? I’m Australian and travelling to the US this year and really dont want to go due to the discusting way animals are experimented on in your country- especially Texas!!

  • texan94 says:

    It is unbelievable how one-sided you people can be. The research that is done on these sheep provide so much to improving medical treatments for burn patients. The majority of these new medical treatments that were discovered from this research are used by Shriner’s Hospitals to treat burned children from around the world. I guess you people would rather they test on the children.


    Thank you PETA for raising awareness on how so many people are mistreating animals. The people doing this should have the same thing done to them and lets see how they like it. People need to raise awareness about how horrifying people can be to animals.

  • Aneliese says:

    Email sent – thank you so much to PETA and the whistleblower, please keep us updated.

  • nidhi says:

    i m so thankful to my parents that they have raised me vegetarian .