Billboard Briefs President Trump: NIH Doesn’t Give a Rat’s A** About Waste

PETA Urges President to Slash $12 Billion From National Institutes of Health's Budget, Stop Bankrolling Useless Animal Experiments

For Immediate Release:
May 2, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

West Palm Beach, Fla. – Starting today, there’s something new on the route between Mar-a-Lago and Palm Beach International Airport, courtesy of PETA: an eye-catching billboard featuring a close-up of a rat’s face alongside the words “President Trump: NIH Doesn’t Give a Rat’s A** About Waste—Cut $12 Billion!”

The billboard is located on the south side of Southern Boulevard, 200 feet west of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach, and will stay up for the last two weeks of the Mar-a-Lago season.

The erection of the billboard follows a letter, available here, from PETA to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price in support of President Trump’s proposed National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget cuts as well as an in-depth report, prepared by PETA, highlighting the areas prime for defunding.

“PETA suggests that the president start cutting waste by cutting NIH-funded experiments on rats made to suffer from depression and monkeys intentionally hooked on alcohol as well as other cruel, useless animal tests,” says PETA’s Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA is calling on President Trump to redirect funds that NIH is currently squandering into superior non-animal research methods that benefit humans.”

Approximately 40 percent of the NIH budget—or $12 billion—currently funds animal experiments that many experts are now decrying as wasteful and irrelevant. Studies have shown that the results of up to 90 percent of animal studies don’t translate to humans and actually undermine work to develop cures for cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases.

PETA notes that some of the irrelevant “research” subsidized by NIH includes injecting hamsters with cocaine and forcing them to fight, puncturing mice’s intestines so that bacteria leak into their abdominal cavities and cause septic shock, and purposely breeding dogs to develop crippling muscular dystrophy.

PETA also plans to run the billboard in New Jersey, near Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster—and it will be up again in West Palm Beach, Florida, for the reopening of Mar-a-Lago later this year.

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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