Citywide Ad Blitz Exposes Johns Hopkins’ Deadly Brain Tests on Owls

On International Owl Awareness Day, PETA Calls for End to Cruel and Wasteful Experiments

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2020

Amanda Tumbleson 202-483-7382

Baltimore – Johns Hopkins University’s (JHU) gruesome and deadly brain tests on barn owls will be exposed today—International Owl Awareness Day—in a full-page ad in The Baltimore Sun as well as in an ad on the newspaper’s website and on Facebook. Later this month, the ad will be posted on six bus shelters near JHU’s Baltimore campus.

The ad details how experimenters cut into barn owls’ skulls, implant electrodes in their brains, lock them in restraining devices, and then bombard them with noises and lights to observe their reactions in experiments that don’t apply to humans—and when the experiments end, the owls are killed.

“Mutilating, tormenting, and killing sensitive barn owls sounds like something out of a horror movie—but that’s what Johns Hopkins is spending money on,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA’s ad blitz will let residents of Baltimore know how they can speak out against JHU’s junk-science brain experiments on owls that aren’t applicable to humans, squander taxpayer funds, and waste lives.”

Funded by the National Institutes of Health and JHU with more than $2.5 million, experimenter Shreesh Mysore intends to use 50 to 60 barn owls in his current set of painful experiments, including six birds just for surgical practice for his staff. Numerous published studies have shown that animal experimentation wastes resources and lives, as more than 90% of highly promising results from basic scientific research—much of it involving animal experimentation—fail to lead to treatments for humans.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or click here.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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