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Genetically Engineered Rats: 10 Percent Rabbit, 100 Percent Cute

Written by PETA | April 1, 2010

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:


Cute rat


“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

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  • Indoor Rabbit Hutch says:

    That’s a cute creature you have there! I hope to see one. Thanks for sharing this Genetically Engineered Rats: 10 Percent Rabbit, 100 Percent Cute! Keep posting!:)

  • Seamus McCartney says:

    I am incredibly against genetic engineering of all aspects, even if this little creature was cute. It would still be unnatural and completely unjustifiable. I am completely appalled that you would even consider the possibility of this.

  • lkm, says:

    this is cruel and horrible! First of all letting it breed in the wild would just introduce more rats! Secoundly there are many people out there which hate even cute and cuddley animals. Next this is the same thing as the glow in the dark bunny HOW an you call thiss good! Also why do you think rats do have tails and NO THE ANSWER IS NOT TO SCARE PEOPLE it’s to use for balance and grip no more rats in glue traps just lying with broken backs from falling because they could not use their tales for grip.


  • Mary says:

    Seriously people get a sense of humor. PETA protests stuff like this so obviously on April 1st they would post something like this to mess with us! PETA would never really support something like this! Geez.

  • Daisy says:

    I really hope that was an April Fool’s joke as cute at that was it’s more than a bit hypocritical .