During a South by Southwest panel featuring Texas A&M University President Michael Young, a PETA supporter walked on stage holding a sign that read, “Michael Young: Stop Cruel Muscular Dystrophy Experiments on Dogs,” and proclaimed “Texas A&M breeds golden retrievers and other dogs for crippling muscular dystrophy. … Please don’t support this. Please shut the dog labs down. No treatment for humans after 35 years—shut the dog labs down!” As she was escorted out of the event, she continued to speak out for the dogs killed at the university.
PETA is calling on Texas A&M to end cruel muscular dystrophy (MD) experiments on golden retrievers and other dogs in the university’s laboratory. Eyewitness video footage obtained by PETA shows dogs who were deliberately bred to develop a crippling and painful form of MD. As the disease ravages their bodies, they struggle to walk, swallow, and even breathe.
“These cruel experiments on dogs can never be justified and must be ended right now,” says Kathy Guillermo, PETA’s senior vice president of laboratory investigations. “Thirty-five years of breeding and tormenting golden retrievers to suffer and die in pain have not resulted in a cure or even a treatment that can reverse the course of muscular dystrophy in humans.”
In the footage, thin dogs suffering from MD were caged, sometimes alone, in barren metal cells. Their swollen tongues and weakened jaw muscles made it difficult for them to swallow even thin gruel, and strings of saliva hung from their mouths. The disease makes walking difficult, too, and they became increasingly crippled. Dogs without symptoms but who carried the gene for the disease were kept caged and used for breeding. The video shows them frantically pacing on the hard slatted floors and biting at the bars of their small cages in frustration.
PETA is calling on Texas A&M to release the dogs for adoption and commit to cutting-edge, animal-free techniques.