PETA Calls for an End to Cruel Muscular Dystrophy Experiments on Golden Retrievers and Other Dogs
For Immediate Release:
December 8, 2016
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
College Station, Texas – PETA has obtained eyewitness video footage of golden retrievers in Joe Kornegay’s laboratory at Texas A&M University who were deliberately bred to develop crippling and painful muscular deterioration and weakness. As muscular dystrophy (MD)—including a particularly aggressive form called Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)—ravages their bodies, such dogs struggle to walk, swallow, and even breathe. PETA is calling on Texas A&M to end these cruel experiments, release the dogs for adoption and to support only modern, non-animal research projects.
“Three decades of painful experiments on generations of debilitated and suffering golden retrievers have failed to result in a cure or even a treatment that can reverse the course of muscular dystrophy in humans,” says Dr. Alka Chandna, PETA’s senior laboratory oversight specialist. “PETA is calling for an immediate end to these cruel, useless experiments.”
In the footage, thin dogs suffering from MD were caged, sometimes alone, in barren metal cells. Their swollen tongues and weakened jaw muscles made it difficult for them to swallow even thin gruel, and strings of drool hung from their mouths. The disease makes walking difficult, and they became increasingly crippled. Dogs without symptoms but who carried the gene for the disease were used for breeding. The video shows them frantically pacing the hard slatted floors and biting at the bars of their small cages in frustration. They were denied even the comfort of a blanket.
These revelations come on the heels of PETA’s release of video footage of similar experiments in France. In the U.S., the same experiments on dogs take place at Texas A&M, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Missouri at Columbia and overseas.
Cutting-edge techniques, such as utilizing unneeded cells from DMD patients to develop disease-specific cures, developing ways to grow healthy human muscle cells that could be transplanted into patients with MD, and creating human-relevant drug-screening platforms, have led to the development of more promising therapies.
PETA’s letters to Texas A&M and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are available on request. Broadcast-quality video is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.