Evanna Lynch Slams JHU’s Owl Experiments As University Dean Faces PETA Protest

'Harry Potter' Actor Joins Group in Demanding an End to School's Torment of Beautiful Owls in Laboratory

For Immediate Release:
October 19, 2020

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Baltimore – Actor Evanna Lynch—otherwise known as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series—has just sent a letter on PETA’s behalf calling on the president of Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to put an end to the school’s horrific brain experiments on barn owls. To coincide with the campaign, tomorrow, PETA protesters will gather in front of the home of JHU School of Medicine Dean Paul Rothman to ask that he shut down the admittedly worthless and apparently illegal experiments happening on his watch.

“In nature, these majestic nocturnal birds have territories that span several miles,” writes Lynch, whose respect and affinity for owls grew out of her Harry Potter experience. “At Johns Hopkins, they live under fluorescent lights in an enclosure the size of a walk-in closet. They’re eventually killed so that their brains can be removed and examined. There can be no ethical justification for this grotesque cruelty.”

When:    Tuesday, October 20, 12:30 p.m.

Where:    Outside Rothman’s home

In these painful tests—which would make the Cruciatus Curse look like child’s play—experimenters cut into owls’ skulls, implant electrodes in their brains, lock them in restraining devices, and then bombard them with noises and lights.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Lynch’s letter to JHU President Ronald J. Daniels follows.

Ronald J. Daniels

President of The Johns Hopkins University

Dear President Daniels,

I was saddened and upset after my friends at PETA told me about a cruel experiment being conducted at Johns Hopkins University. Owls play a large part in the Harry Potter series, and I have tremendous respect for these magnificent animals.

In the laboratory of Shreesh Mysore, experimenters cut into barn owls’ skulls, insert electrodes into their brains, restrain them, put headphones on them to force them to listen to sounds, and record their brain activity. I am deeply saddened by this vicious treatment of these birds and am urging you to shut down this laboratory immediately.

In nature, these majestic nocturnal birds have territories that span several miles. At Johns Hopkins, they live under fluorescent lights in an enclosure the size of a walk-in closet. They’re eventually killed so that their brains can be removed and examined. There can be no ethical justification for this grotesque cruelty.

These experiments are done with the intention of understanding attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but there is overwhelming evidence that the results of most experiments on animals can’t be applied to humans. There are better ways to study this condition.

Please end these brain experiments on owls. Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Evanna Lynch

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