Edie Falco Speaks Up for Rats Suffering at University of Delaware Lab

Published by Carolyn Englar.

Experimenter Tania Roth has been tormenting vulnerable rats at the University of Delaware for years. Actor and longtime PETA supporter Edie Falco has had enough, so she’s giving university faculty and staff a wake-up call.

The Golden Globe–winning star of Nurse Jackie left voice mails for the university’s entire faculty and staff—all 2,000 of them. She urged them to contact university President Dennis Assanis to ask him to end these cruel and ineffective tests.

“[F]or almost 20 years, experimenter Tania Roth has been tormenting and killing mother rats and their infants in these horribly painful, inhumane experiments, and ultimately, they are completely worthless,” Falco says in the recording.

You can listen to her full message here:

Roth has found dozens of twisted ways to bully and beat up these sensitive animals. She has stuffed pregnant mothers into tiny restraint tubes and blasted them with strobe lights. She’s forced alcohol down the throats of newborn rats. She’s purposely terrified rats by repeatedly shocking their feet. She has also subjected them to the notorious forced swim test, in which they’re placed in beakers of water and experimenters measure how long they struggle to stay afloat.

Ironically, Roth claims to be conducting these cruel experiments to “help” human victims of child abuse, by studying genetic and behavioral changes in rats who are subjected to abuse early in life.

Falco is known for playing strong female characters and mothers on HBO hit series such as The Sopranos and Oz. In real life, she’s the mother of two adopted children and has used her influence to speak out against countless animal rights abuses, including those of circuses, the horse-carriage industry, and SeaWorld.

“This is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. I’m a longtime animal lover, and any opportunity that I have to look after them, I will happily partake in,” Falco says in the voice message.

After all these years of abuse, what does Roth have to show? No apparent benefits for abused human children and a mountain of animals’ bodies. Several experts in the scientific research field have even publicly refuted the validity of these tests altogether.

“Tania Roth’s child abuse experiments on juvenile rats and their mothers are reminiscent of a gruesome horror novel. The experiments are unproductive, having no apparent applicability to human children or their well-being.” — James H. Yahr, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Join PETA in calling on the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to stop funding Roth’s cruel experiments.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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