Johns Hopkins Experimenter Scrambles Barn Owls’ Brains—Help Stop Him

Published by Michelle Reynolds.

Update: March 17, 2020 

PETA has fired off a letter to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) today and released damning reports and photographs obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that reveal the extent to which animals imprisoned in the university’s laboratories suffer as a result of negligence, incompetence, and a stunning disregard for their lives.

JHU’s violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act include locking highly social monkeys in solitary, barren cages with no enrichment as well as a number of horrific deaths endured by animals imprisoned at the school. In one instance, a worker closed a cage door on a marmoset monkey, killing the animal. In another, a monkey was found dead with her head stuck inside a ball used for “enrichment.” 

What’s more, in light of its campus shutdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, JHU has ordered its experimenters to identify “critical animals to be maintained,” presumably leading to the mass killing of countless others who aren’t considered “critical”—which begs the question Why were these animals forced to endure cruel and painful tests in the first place?

Now more than ever, it’s imperative that Shreesh Mysore’s laboratory be shut down so that the owls imprisoned in it can be sent to a sanctuary. Please take action below to help.

Originally posted on June 26, 2019:

Wearing owl masks and blasting audio recordings of screeching owls taken inside a Johns Hopkins University laboratory, a group of PETA supporters gathered outside the office of Johns Hopkins experimenter Shreesh Mysore and called for an end to his abuse of owls.

peta demo at johns hopkins university against experiments on owls

Mysore cuts into barn owls’ skulls to expose their brains, screws and glues metal devices to their heads, forces them into plastic tubes so cramped that they can’t even move their wings, keeps them there for up to 12 hours, clamps their eyes open, and bombards them with sounds and lights. He pokes electrodes around in the brains of fully conscious birds, mutilating their brain tissue so severely that the animals become “unusable” to him—at which point he kills them.

This owl is one of many imprisoned in Shreesh Mysore’s basement laboratory, where he cuts into their skulls and screws metal devices onto their heads in curiosity-driven experiments that have no relevance for human health.

He claims to be studying human attention deficit disorder (ADD), even though barn owls don’t suffer from the condition and their auditory and visual systems differ vastly from those of humans.

“Cutting open barn owls’ heads won’t help humans with ADD,” says PETA neuroscientist and former Johns Hopkins postdoctoral fellow Dr. Katherine Roe. “PETA is calling on Johns Hopkins to stop pouring money into cruel experiments that contribute nothing to treatments for humans.”

peta demo at johns hopkins university against experiments on owls

Mysore has received more than $1 million in funding from the university and $1.3 million from the National Institutes of Health. Let’s get these gruesome experiments ended today.

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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