A Teddy Bear Takes on Cruel Experiments on Animals in Eye-Opening PETA Ad

Creatively Avoiding Censorship, TV Spot Shows How Gruesome Experiments on Animals Are—in a Nongraphic Way

For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2019

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Portland, Ore. – The abuse that’s inflicted on animals in laboratories, such as those at the Oregon Health & Science University–affiliated Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), is too violent for broadcast television—and too disturbing for many people to watch. But Portland viewers of New Amsterdam will get a glimpse of just how cruel animal testing is, thanks to a new PETA ad campaign that’s kicking off tonight.

The nongraphic ad by top creative agency VMLY&R depicts a teddy bear being taken to a laboratory, where he’s strapped down, injected with chemicals, cut open, killed, and thrown away—which is what real animals endure every day in laboratories in the Portland area and across the country.

“Portland residents deserve to know what’s happening to animals in their own community under the guise of ‘science,'” says PETA Vice President Alka Chandna, Ph.D. “If animals were burned, poisoned, crippled, or blinded outside of a laboratory, cruelty-to-animals charges would be warranted, yet no laboratory experiment—no matter how painful or useless—is illegal.”

More than 5,500 monkeys are currently imprisoned at the ONPRC, where they’re separated from their mothers, locked inside cramped stainless-steel cages, forced to eat lard, and addicted to nicotine and alcohol, among other abuses. At the experiments’ end, the monkeys are nearly always killed so that experimenters can cut up their brains or other internal organs. The ONPRC has been repeatedly fined and cited for violating federal animal-welfare laws, including for a 2016 incident in which a monkey died after becoming entangled in a chain. A PETA video exposé of the ONPRC in 2007 revealed that monkeys were terrorized by staff, denied veterinary care and pain relief, and driven insane by confinement to cramped, barren cages.

PETA is urging the ONPRC to close its laboratory and release the primates it holds captive into a reputable sanctuary.

PETA’s ad has also appeared on TV stations near other major facilities that use animals in cruel and worthless experiments in Maryland, Washington, and Wisconsin. The ad is part of PETA’s campaign to persuade the National Institutes of Health to stop awarding an estimated $15 billion each year for experiments on animals, which are killing both animals and the humans who die while waiting for treatments or cures. Ninety percent of animal studies fail to lead to treatments for humans, and 95 percent of new drugs that test safe and effective in animals fail in human trials.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“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