University of Maryland Releases All Records on Ferret Experiments

August 2011

In response to a lawsuit filed by PETA in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City over alleged violations of the Maryland Public Information Act, the University of Maryland–Baltimore (UMB) turned over to PETA more than 100 pages of records related to the university’s taxpayer-funded experiments on animals.

The documents show that rats and ferrets had holes drilled into their heads, electrodes inserted into their brains, and metal screws driven into their skulls to hold a metal post and recording device in place that measured brain responses to different sounds. The rats were locked in chambers and blasted with loud noise for an hour straight to induce “ringing in the ears.” If they accidentally became deaf, they were killed. All the animals were ultimately killed and had their brains dissected.

The documents also describe incidents in 2007 and 2008 for which the school was investigated by federal authorities and/or cited for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Among the victims in these incidents were two baboons who died during a transfusion procedure after improper monitoring, sick animals who were denied veterinary treatment, primates who suffered with signs of severe psychological distress that were not identified or were left untreated, and mice who starved to death or died from dehydration when employees forgot to check on them for days.

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“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind