MUST-WATCH: PETA Supporters Disrupt SXSW Panel Featuring Texas A&M President

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

The barks of dogs tormented in Texas A&M University’s (TAMU’s) dog laboratory echoed through the halls of the Courtyard Marriott in Austin, Texas, today as PETA supporters crashed a South by Southwest (SXSW) panel discussion featuring Michael K. Young, the university’s president. Demonstrators urged Young to “shut the dog lab down.”

At TAMU, golden retrievers are bred to develop a canine form of muscular dystrophy. This disease ravages their bodies, causing progressive muscle wasting and weakness. Studies using these dogs haven’t led to a cure or even a treatment to reverse disease symptoms in humans. To protest this ongoing and unnecessary cruelty, demonstrators shouted, waved signs above their heads, and played audio recordings from a video taken inside these labs (shown below).

Demonstrators were escorted from the room, and one activist was even dragged down the hall. Young—who appeared baffled—wasn’t the only attendee who took note. Malaka Gharib—a writer and editor for National Public Radio—videoed and tweeted the incident, too …

… and followed up by sharing this tweet with her nearly 5,000 followers:

Young was discussing “Human Rights Policy in a Connected World” as part of a SXSW panel. Just before the commotion, panelists were—ironically—discussing how effective protests and disruptions are. We couldn’t agree more. Prior to the uproar, Young also noted that social media is a tool that can be used to expose things and quickly share information. Again, we wholeheartedly agree.

From football games and board meetings to fancy dinners, PETA supporters have kept the pressure on TAMU to shut down its cruel and senseless experiments on dogs. Until the university commits to using only modern, animal-free research methods that will actually help people, it can expect activists to show up at any given time.

PETA supporters like you can help end these experiments.

It makes no sense to dote on some animals as “companions” while condemning others to be treated as tools in experiments—they’re all individuals deserving of respect. Please, join PETA in urging the university to close this dog laboratory, stop breeding MD-afflicted dogs, and release all dogs in the lab for adoption into good homes:

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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