Damning Report on Farmed-Animal Research Program Prompts PETA Appeal to End Outrageous Experiments

New York Times Report Reveals Malformed Infants Left to Die, 6,500 Animals Allowed to Starve to Death

For Immediate Release:
January 20, 2015

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Prompted by a shocking New York Times report today that revealed that thousands of animals at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center have been left to suffer, starve, and die from treatable maladies in experimental breeding programs and other cruel practices, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat … [or] experiment on”—sent an urgent letter this morning calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to suspend operations immediately and shut down the taxpayer-funded program.

“The total callousness that allowed experimenters for Big Ag to leave lambs deliberately to freeze to death and rack up sky-high death rates at this taxpayer-funded institution has shocked even ranchers, and its cruel and deadly breeding experiments read like a twisted novel about a mad scientist,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “PETA is calling on the authorities to shut down this outrageously cruel and wasteful program.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.


PETA’s letter to the USDA follows.


January 20, 2015


The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture


Via e-mail: [email protected]


Dear Mr. Secretary,

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide. Today’s shocking revelations in The New York Times prompt us to call on you to suspend operations and close the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) immediately.

MARC is using taxpayer dollars in crude, cruel, and indefensible experiments. Infant animals are left to die slowly, exposed to the elements, after being bred to be deformed, weak, and helpless. Untrained staff members operate on animals, whistle-blowing is punished, and injured and sick animals are left untreated. The death rates shock even ranchers and farmers, and the practices at MARC read like a twisted novel about a mad scientist. Female sheep are injected with male hormones, which deforms their lambs’ genitals. Female calves are also being born with deformed vaginas at astonishing rates. Yet MARC has continued to push for harmful breeding practices, increasing the rate of twins and triplets, leading to a 16.5 percent mortality rate among the calves.

In addition to the cruelty, this operation is a waste of taxpayer dollars. U.S. consumption of animals such as cows and sheep is decreasing. If the goal is indeed to feed a growing world population, feeding plant-based farmed foods directly to humans is far more efficient. Furthermore, by pushing for increased farming of these animals, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is undermining the Obama administration’s goals for decreasing greenhouse-gas emissions. As demonstrated by a United Nations study, animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, generating more greenhouses-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, planes, ships, and trains in the world combined.

The exposure of the practices by MARC is damning, and the USDA must take immediate action to retain any level of credibility on this matter. I hope to hear from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

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