Louisiana State University (LSU) experimenter Christine Lattin had already cemented her status as the reigning queen of songbird torment by rattling birds’ cages, yanking out their feathers, wounding their legs without pain medication, and forcing them to eat crude oil–laced food.
Now she’s earned herself a contemptible new crown with her latest paper, “Estradiol and Predator Cues Affect Behavior and Brain Responses of Captive Female House Sparrows (Passer Domesticus).”
In it, Lattin and her coauthors describe kidnapping 33 female sparrows from their homes in nature and imprisoning them in a laboratory. They cut into the birds’ backs and implanted capsules under the skin—some filled with the hormone estradiol and others empty. Then, after removing the capsules, they isolated the birds in an inescapable chamber and subjected some to the terrifying sounds of predators while others heard male love songs. After enduring this stressful experiment, which took weeks from capture to completion, they were killed.
33 Stolen Lives—Zero Useful Findings
The birds whom Lattin hormonally manipulated, terrorized with predator sounds, and then killed didn’t suffer and die for the next revolutionary scientific discovery. They died for nothing at all.
The birds reacted to predator calls the same way—by freezing in fear—regardless of whether they’d been dosed with estradiol. Estradiol made no difference to how much the birds froze.
Lattin might have anticipated this underwhelming outcome if she’d bothered to read any of the numerous studies indicating that birds remain vigilant to predators during breeding season, when their estradiol levels are high. Instead, despite her no-news findings, she forged ahead with killing the birds and cutting up their brains.
Unsurprisingly, in response to predator sounds, the birds showed no hormone-dependent difference in gene expression, just as they’d shown no hormone-dependent difference in their behavior.
Lattin slapped a bow on these yawn-worthy findings and called it a scientific paper. She should have called it pointless violence.
This 15-Year Reign of Terror Must End
Lattin’s scientific play-acting wasn’t charming when she started tormenting birds back in 2008, and it still isn’t—hundreds of dead birds and hundreds of thousands of wasted taxpayer dollars later.
Her sickening cruelty and violence are characteristic of the vile animal experimentation industry, which ruins the lives of sentient beings by the thousands, stripping them of everything that’s natural and important to them. This abuse is inexcusable, and it must end—starting at LSU.
PETA has urged the Louisiana Board of Regents—the taxpayer-supported funder of Lattin’s latest bird-killing spree—not to squander one more cent on pointless and barbaric experiments like hers.
Join us in condemning Lattin’s hideous experiments and standing for animal-free, human-relevant research by calling on LSU to shut down Lattin’s lab: