Giant ‘Rat’ to Protest University of Delaware Board of Trustees Meeting

PETA Will Call For an End to Torment of Baby Rats in 'Child Abuse' and Spinal Cord Injury Experiments

For Immediate Release:
December 9, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Newark, Del. – A giant “rat” and other PETA supporters will swarm the University of Delaware’s Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday to call for an end to experimenter Tania Roth’s cruel “child abuse” and spinal cord injury studies on baby rats. The protest comes after PETA filed complaints with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development urging it to withdraw funding for the “child abuse” tests.

When:    Tuesday, December 10, 3 p.m.

Where:    The Audion, first floor of the Tower, STAR Campus, University of Delaware, 540 S. College Ave., Newark

Since 2000, Roth has spent nearly $2 million in public funds tormenting rats. In her most recent experiments, she lowered the body temperature of day-old rat pups until they passed out because of a painful and distressing condition called hypothermia. She then cut their lower spines and, nine days later,  subjected some of them to behavioral tests.  Afterward, she killed all the pups and removed their spines. However, scientific reviews have shown that in the case of spinal cord injuries, animals are poor surrogates for humans, and that experimenting on them does not yield data relevant to such injuries in humans.

In other experiments, Roth has injected baby rats with opioids and force-fed them alcohol, stuffed pregnant ones into tiny restraint tubes and blasted them with strobe lights, and electrically shocked infant rats. She has separated baby rats from their mothers and given them to traumatized animals who were unable to care for them properly.

“Gentle rats have been drugged, restrained, traumatized, and ultimately killed in these dead-end studies for two decades,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is telling the University of Delaware that the best thing it can do for children is to end these wasteful experiments and divert resources into relevant human-based research.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a supremacist worldview that prejudicially privileges humans over all other sentient life. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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