Edie Falco Leaves Phone Messages for 2,000 UD Staff: Stop Cruel Tests on Rats!

Actor and Mother Calls For an End to Child Abuse Studies at University

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2019

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Newark, Del.

More than 2,000 University of Delaware (UD) staff members picked up the phone today to hear an unexpected voice on the other end: that of Golden Globe–winning actor Edie Falco pleading for their support in urging UD President Dennis Assanis to end experimenter Tania Roth’s child abuse tests on rats. In the message (available here), Falco—a mother of two adopted children—points out that the tests have harmed animals but haven’t resulted in treatments for human children who were abused.

“[F]or almost 20 years, experimenter Tania Roth has been tormenting and killing mother rats and their infants in … horribly painful, inhumane experiments—and ultimately, they are completely worthless,” Falco says in the recording. “Some of the things that she does include putting rats in containers [filled] with water—they have no way to escape—[and forcing] them to swim until they’re exhausted.” Falco goes on to ask the listeners to take action against this abuse: “Please contact President Dennis Assanis today and urge him to please end this pointless cruelty.”

Since 2000, Roth has spent nearly $2 million in federal funds (in addition to Delaware tax dollars) repeatedly shocking baby rats’ feet, forcing alcohol down newborn rats’ throats, and stuffing pregnant mothers inside tiny restraint tubes and blasting them with strobe lights and white noise—all to replicate early childhood abuse and trauma. She’s taken newborn rats away from their mothers and given them to stressed females who, unequipped to care for the babies, have stepped on, dropped, dragged, and ignored them. Roth has also restrained rats in an enclosure smeared with cat food and placed it inside a cramped metal cage with an adult cat so that the rats would become terrified that they’d be killed.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist view that other animals are commodities to be bred, tormented, and disposed of at will. The group’s previous efforts to end Roth’s tests include preparing a scientific and veterinary critique of the experiments, filing complaints with federal authorities, expressing concerns to UD’s Board of Trustees, and protesting on the UD campus.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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