For Immediate Release:
November 10, 2021
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Portland, Ore. – The Multnomah County Circuit Court just granted PETA’s motion to add a claim of unlawful police monitoring to its lawsuit against Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), which already seeks to hold OHSU accountable for intentionally deleting videos of the school’s alcohol and fidelity experiments on prairie voles.
While litigating the lawsuit, PETA discovered that at least three OHSU police officers, including the police chief, receive near-daily intelligence-style updates on PETA’s activities from a company called Information Network Associates (INA). Oregon law prohibits law-enforcement agencies from collecting such information unless it relates directly to a criminal investigation, which, PETA notes, OHSU’s surveillance does not. Among other “threat” updates, INA has told OHSU about PETA’s blog posts and social media activity.
“If OHSU is hiding videos about pointless experiments on animals and enlisting the police to monitor advocacy groups, it’s violating rights,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “The court’s decision brings PETA one step closer to holding OHSU accountable for apparent violations of state law and constitutional freedoms.”
PETA previously expanded the lawsuit to include First Amendment and state equal-protection claims after learning that OHSU experimenters apparently deleted videos of experiments in order to ensure that they would not “fall into the wrong hands.” OHSU then misled PETA about the videos’ existence for months.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.