Duke University Ranked Among Worst Animal Testing Offenders

PETA's Interactive 'Failed Tests' Resource Calls Out School for Using Tens of Thousands of Animals in Cruel Experiments

For Immediate Release:
September 9, 2019

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Durham, N.C. – As the school year begins at Duke University, PETA is alerting students to its new feature, “Failed Tests,” which ranks colleges as “bad,” “worse,” or “worst” for animals—and Duke, which used more than 200 pigs, nearly 500 rabbits, nearly 200 monkeys, and dozens of dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and ferrets in experiments last year, is among the “worst.”

Duke received $475 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2018. In one bizarre taxpayer-funded study, experimenters deprived macaque monkeys of water and forced them to use computer touch screens to select certain brands’ logos, which were paired with images of dominant, subordinate, or sexually receptive female monkeys, in exchange for small drops of fruit juice. In another, experimenters drilled holes into thirsty monkeys’ heads, inserted electrodes, surgically attached a restraint device to the backs of their heads, and forced them to perform visual tasks to receive a juice “reward.” When given the option to dole out the juice to another monkey, the monkeys consistently chose to do so, even if it meant that they received nothing in the process.

Records obtained by PETA reveal numerous incidents of neglect and incompetence in Duke’s laboratories: A lemur was killed when a door separating two caging units fell on the animal, monkeys have escaped and sustained injuries in fights when staffers have failed to secure their cages properly, and several mice died of dehydration when a water line became disconnected and no one noticed.

“Students live and work on university campuses for years without knowing that animals are being burned, poisoned, crippled, blinded, and tormented in a host of other ways right under their noses,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “As the school year begins, PETA is asking caring Duke University students to speak out against the abuse of sensitive, sentient beings in their midst.”

PETA points out that a 2018 Pew Research poll found that the majority of Americans oppose animal experimentation, with opposition even greater among younger demographics such as college students. No animal test is prohibited by law, no matter how painful or irrelevant, and mice, rats, birds, reptiles, and amphibians are excluded from protection under federal law.

Numerous published studies have shown that animal experimentation wastes resources and lives, as more than 90% of highly promising results from basic science research—much of it involving animal experimentation—fail to lead to treatments for humans. And 95% of new medications that are found to be effective in animals fail in human clinical trials.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please click here.

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“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