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Bill Maher Calls Out UW-Madison’s Cruel Experiments on Cats—Literally

Written by Alisa Mullins | October 8, 2013

Bill Maher has given the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW) a wake-up call—literally. The host of HBO’s Real Time recorded a message on PETA’s behalf that was auto-dialed today to every member of UW’s staff, faculty, and student body as well as to UW’s Board of Regents and residents living near the school’s campus.

“On this very campus, dozens of live cats have holes drilled into their skulls, steel posts screwed to their heads, and metal coils implanted in their eyes,” Maher said. “Some cats have had their ears cut off. Others are intentionally deafened. … It strikes me that it’s not the cats who need their heads examined …. I’m calling on you to join me in helping to end this abuse.”

Prompted by a PETA complaint, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) report released just last week confirmed PETA’s allegations that UW failed to take adequate steps to avoid the cats’ infected, open head wounds and to treat them and that UW’s justification for the use of cats and the number of cats used was inadequate. NIH took the exceptionally rare step of ordering UW to suspend the experiments for nearly six months while major changes were implemented. The NIH findings echo a separate report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in February, also prompted by a PETA complaint, which found rampant infections among the cats used in these experiments. Some infections were so severe that they resulted in the removal of one cat’s eye and the euthanasia of several cats.

What You Can Do

Please join Bill Maher in urging UW to put an immediate, permanent halt to these cruel experiments.

Commenting is closed.
  • Janet says:

    Using animals this way is barbaric – this type of human behaviour towards animals represents how uncivilized and ignorant we are as a species . Animals are innocent – this torture makes me sick..

  • Julie says:

    This is insane. Stop abusing these poor animals, and put an end to these “experiments.”

  • Suzanne Constine says:

    These experiments barbaric and outrageous! Stop the cruelty!

  • Ron F says:

    For the first time in more than 40 years, I’m embarrassed to be an alumnus of UW-Madison.

  • Big Blond says:

    Cats are pets, they are not lab animals….torturing pets is against the law, stop torturing these animals. Find something worthwhile to do.

  • Deanna Prisco says:

    There’s no reason for this kind of treatment to any animal. Let’s let everyone at UW know how we feel.

  • Brandi Michielsen says:

    Did not even watch video’s as just what was written sickened me. Where is the Humane Society on this one !?! Years ago, seen a documentary of a lab test on a baboon. With no sedatives or anything, they put a vice grip on it’s head, then crushed the skull, with a release spring. I heard that poor animals screams of pain and horror for years, when lest expecting it. It would literally have me running for a pillow to cover my head and try to subdue the sudden migraine attack I’d be hit with. Yes, they wanted to learn how to piece a human skull back together after a severe head fracture, but I sincerely believe they have experimented on our creature from the animal kingdom, long enough. If they haven’t collected enough data / recordings / videos on their mad scientist experiments, to share with students that will be entering the medical field, then too fricking bad ! Let the animals be released from their cages when these idiots are in there alone, letting them have their revenge on the insane egotistical hard heart insensitive people wearing lab coats. Justice is served when served cold …

  • Lydia L. P. says:

    The stupid excuse for this all of the time, is, that it is in interest of medicine and science! Well if you can create an ear on a 3D printer and let it grow in a culture solution and then implant it on a human that’s pretty damned advanced science. There must be a better way to do research than using live animals! 🙁

  • Kent says:

    I saw a cat with a machine in his brain The man who fed him said he didn’t feel any pain I’d like to see that man take out that machine And stick it in his own brain, you know what I mean I saw a rabbit with its eyes full of tears The lab that owned her had been doing it for years Why don’t we make them pay for every last eye? That couldn’t cry its own tears, do you know what I mean? When I tell you that we’ll all be looking for changes Changes in the way we treat our fellow creatures And we will learn how to grow (Learn how to grow) Well, I tell you that we’ll all be looking for changes Changes in the way we treat our fellow creatures And we will learn how to grow, yeah When we’re looking for changes I saw a monkey that was learning to choke A guy beside him gave him cigarettes to smoke And everytime that monkey started to cough The bastard laughed his head off, do you know what I mean? When I tell you that we’ll all be looking for changes Changes in the way we treat our fellow creatures And we will learn how to grow when we’re looking for changes We’re looking for changes, we’re looking for changes We’re looking for changes in the way we are (Paul McCartney)

  • Mike Fisher says:

    Please read the New York Times Article, Sunday, October 6, 2012 about scanning with fMRI dogs. The dogs were trained to lie still during the process. They found out the same places showing emotion in humans were synonymous with the brain of a dog. Possibly cats also? So cats and dogs my have emotional feelings just like humans. I am all for experimentation for new surgeries and drugs but lets be a bit kinder and live in peace with all species. One day, we may learn to live with other humans.

  • Chris Ringler says:

    Please stop this cruelty to these innocent animals immediately!!!

  • Alicia says:

    This is so wrong on so many levels, this must stop!!

  • Saxlover59 says:

    This is sickening. Are there not laws in place to stop this kind of thing? If there are not then there should be. This is just so wrong for so many reasons. I don’t think I’m going to sleep at all tonight. How can these people that do this look at thier children in the eyes?

  • Marlene Pearson says:

    Animals are not for experimenting!!! Please stop this horrible cruelty now!

  • Progressive Oklahoma says:

    Why don’t you all give them a quick phone call and let the college know how you feel? They may be able to ignore a petition, but it’s awfully hard to avoid tied up phone lines from angry callers. 608-263-2400

  • J Norton says:

    Horrible…please stop hurting these poor helpless animals.

  • Sarah Bradley says:

    I cried my eyes out after watching that footage. How can any human be so cruel to such a poor defenceless and beautiful animal?! How can anyone who does this call themselves a human being? How do they sleep at night. It is totally beyond me. There are alternative options which can be used. Why do they even give these cats a name? By naming them, its almost like they care. Which they most certainly do not. They may aswell name them ‘Experiment 1’ or whatever. The insensitive bastards. Those people dont deserve a life. I would rather no cure for brain tumours, cancer, or any disease, if it means animals have to suffer. And if we all die of a brain tumour then so be it. I dont give a fuck. As long as no suffering is endured to cats, or any animal, who did no wrong to anyone.

  • Audrey Robertson says:

    These appalling, despicable experiments must stop now!

  • Caro says:

    “Animals are NOT OURS to EAT, WEAR, EXPERIMENT ON OR USE FOR ENTERTAINMENT” STOP THIS CRUELTY AGAINST LIVING AND FEELING BEINGS! The word “being humane” CANNOT come from the word “human”….because human’s are anything but HUMANE!

  • Sabrina says:

    Is there a live protest in Madison? I would like to go.

  • Gus D says:


  • Jeffrey Robinson says:

    Disgusting and thoughtless!!!

  • fearless57 says:

    What kind of results are they hoping for by conducting such heinous experiments on felines? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING??!! STOP THIS EXPERIMENTING NOW!

  • savory says:


  • kgirlartist66 says:

    There is no reason or excuse in the world that justifies THIS? WHAT is the matter with you people? STOP. HURTING. HELPLESS. ANIMALS. YOU are the ANIMALS- for thinking that this is OK for ANY reason. EVER. It’s wrong on so many levels

  • Amilia says:

    Shame on UW-Madison

  • chris says:

    shame on you, as a native Mad-city cat lover I am disturbed by this

  • Cindy Schneider says:

    Stop this cruel, inhumane treatment of cats! There is no logical reason for this! Do you think you are Hitler’s Dr.Mengele? You are as cruel as he was!

  • Annie Fry says:

    STOP IT! How can anyone allow this let alone participate in it?

  • 2Persians2 says:

    Apparently the only thing the University of Wisconsin is teaching their students through this animal torture is INHUMANITY. That being the case, then why don’t they leave innocent animals alone, and do their bizarre “experiments” on each other, instead?

  • Tom Martin says:

    Please put an end to these cruel and barbaric experiments. I know there is a better way using modern science, technology and computer models.

  • Susan says:

    This needs to be permanetly banned,it’s beyond cruel that ANY living being should have to endure and be subjected to such pain and suffering.This is 2013 people there is so much technology.I can’t believe that this has gone on all this time and no one has stepped up to put a stop to it.I have no words to describe the sheer utter barbaric testing that you do to these poor helpless cats..It’s so wrong and completely disgusting that you can do this to a live animal…animals feel pain too and Iam appalled that measures have not yet been taken to stop this…pure evil!!! and I don’t care if you want to use the excuse that these experiments take place to provide ongoing research to benefit humans..these are LIVE animals there are other ways to conduct research..this musn’t continue

  • Lynne says:

    Can’t bear to watch this and I don’t understand this sadist cruelty in the ‘name’ of education! I am appalled and enraged that our wise educators are allowed to get away with this insane cruelty by seemingly superior academics. Who in their right mind can sanction this? The US government that sleeps??? Must be! Stand up and stop this insanity and better still punish those who have been complicit in these acts … they cannot go unpunished!

  • Diane Carr says:

    If they can do this to cats…. I believe it is a fact, animal cruelty defines the serial killer. Is this just a socially acceptable outlet? These people must not have pets in their homes. These are our fellow earthlings! Stop!

  • Cindy Rajan says:

    Stop this immediately!!!! This is sick. It is not necessary.

  • Tena Meyers says:

    This is shameful and it had to stop!

  • G says:

    WOW !!!…………….. and Micheal Vick went to PRISON ??? what hypocrisy !!!

  • Kate Riley says:

    I haven’t forgotten about you kitties. I think about you every day and can’t believe what you have to go through — and #doubletrouble did not lose her life in vain — we remember her. These could be anyone’s pets and they are zipped up in jackets and terrorized to test a “hearing aid” – Glad that another celeb is standing up for you, as #UWMadison #Badgers denies and denies it on Twitter. We will continue to share your pictures and be your voices because these kitties are the face of your school.

  • Dr. Carol Shuman says:

    This is abhorrent. Thank you PETA, and thank you Bill. I can’t imagine the ignorant humans involved in this. Very worthless people.

  • Mary Wade Burnside says:

    Please stop this abuse. This is not humane. There are better ways to conduct scientific experiments. Anyone who could do this to an animal is detached from humanity.

  • Kaawn says:

    I understand that sometimes the medical community needs to experiment before bringing some new drug or treatment to us. But I can’t fathom what tests they are doing to these cats that could possibly help mankind. This is just horrifying. For shame.

  • bjspates says:

    how is this legal? how can ANYONE witness this and be OK with it? how can ANYONE be a part of this? how do they sleep at night? i couldn’t bring myself to watch the video, the picture made me cry enough. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?????

  • Peg says:

    Save the animals,use humans that are in prison for murder or child molesters/abusers instead.

  • JuJu says:

    Come on UW, we are better than this

  • James M says:

    I don’t understand the need for animal experimentation in this day and age. Especially a higher animal like a cat or dog. The sad part is that the people doing this must by psychotic or something. How can you harm an animal and not care? I am very much into science but I still have a conscience. Causing the suffering of animals for experiments when it’s not required is just inhumane.

  • Kristi says:

    This has left me so appalled I have no words. Just end this now!

  • Josh says:

    This is horrible. Whatever your “educational experimenting” reason is, it’s not valid. Anyone with any type of compassion should know this is really wrong. Please stop this abuse.

  • Jeniifer Smith says:

    These practices are gruesome and barbaric. Please end this unethical and cruel treatment of animals at UW immediately.

  • Martha Chapman says:

    Please quit using animals for research. There has to be a better way.