For Immediate Release:
October 4, 2022
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Pittsburgh – Because Pennsylvania laboratories used thousands of dogs in experiments last year, PETA will be bringing its free, eye-opening exhibit “Without Consent” to the University of Pittsburgh’s (Pitt) hometown this week. The presentation of this provocative display comes after 4,000 beagles—some of whom have found permanent homes with Pennsylvania families—bred for experiments were rescued from a now-shuttered breeding facility in Virginia, thanks to a PETA undercover investigation.
When: October 6–9, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: The University of Pittsburgh, Schenley Plaza
On display for just four days, “Without Consent” links historical experiments on vulnerable humans—including orphans, immigrant women, soldiers, and impoverished Black men—to the troubled history of experiments on nonconsenting animals, through 24 panels bearing descriptions and photographs of nearly 200 tests conducted at U.S. institutions in recent decades.
Every year, Pennsylvania laboratories hold or use more than 2,800 dogs for experiments. Even though high-tech research methods—such as organs-on-chips and high-speed computers programmed with human data—are available, dogs are force-fed drugs and pesticides and used in a variety of invasive and sometimes extremely painful experiments. Experimenters at Temple University in Philadelphia injected 53 dogs with drugs and virus particles and used a pacemaker to manipulate the animals’ heart rates, leading to severe heart failure. They killed all the dogs less than a month later.
Experimenters at Pitt have surgically implanted recording devices in monkeys before infecting them with a virus, causing tremors, twitching, and poor muscle control. They have forced young rabbits to inhale bacteria in an exposure chamber—inducing fever, respiratory distress, and weight loss—and then killed the surviving animals at the end of the tests. Experimenters have also cut into mice as young as 10 weeks old, inserted catheters into their windpipes, poisoned them with carbon monoxide, and injected drugs into their eyes.
Pitt has a long history of violating minimum animal welfare laws. Earlier this year, PETA exposed 74 violations of federal animal welfare guidelines in the school’s laboratories between 2017 and 2022—including failure to provide animals used in painful surgeries with adequate pain relief and 25 incidents in which animals died from starvation or dehydration. These revelations followed PETA’s 2017 undercover video investigation into Pitt laboratories documenting neglect, incompetence, and deviations from approved experimental protocols.
“‘Without Consent’ tells the true stories of dogs and other animals who were harmed and killed in experiments that they did not and could not consent to,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “Humans are only one animal species among many, and having the power to exploit the others does not give us the right to do so.”
PETA is calling on the National Institutes of Health—which gave institutions in Pennsylvania more than $2 billion in taxpayer funds in 2021—to phase out animal experiments and adopt the group’s Research Modernization Deal.
An interactive virtual exhibit is available here. 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.