Johns Hopkins University Under Fire From PETA For Gruesome Brain Experiments on Barn Owls

Group Launches Ad in The Hill, Mobile Billboard Tours Campus, and Activists Will Hang Banner Over Highway to Call For End to Tests

For Immediate Release:
December 8, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Baltimore – Just in time for the end of Johns Hopkins University’s (JHU) fall semester, PETA has placed an eye-catching new ad in today’s edition of The Hill calling on the National Eye Institute (NEI) to stop funding JHU’s gruesome and deadly brain experiments on barn owls. A mobile billboard will also circulate the ad around campus today, blasting audio recordings of screeching owls taken inside a JHU laboratory.

When:    Wednesday, December 9, 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m.

Where:    Overpass bridge over I-83, 2715 Wyman Park Dr., Baltimore

The print ad explains that the NEI gave $1.5 million in taxpayer dollars to JHU experimenter Shreesh Mysore, whose current set of painful experiments on between five and 60 barn owls involves attaching bolts to their skulls to hold their heads in a fixed position, locking them in restraining devices for up to 12 hours at a time, clamping their eyes open, and bombarding them with noises and lights to observe their reactions. The birds are eventually killed.

Mysore has publicly acknowledged that experimenting on animals whose heads have been fixed in place could draw misleading results. In addition, PETA notes that he appears to have violated state law by failing to obtain a required permit to possess a protected bird for educational or scientific purposes.

In response, on Wednesday, a group of PETA supporters wearing masks and practicing social distancing will unfurl a gigantic banner from an overpass over a busy highway to demand that JHU end cruel brain experiments on owls.

“There is nothing merry inside Johns Hopkins University laboratories, where animals’ lives and taxpayers’ money are wasted on horrifying junk science,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on the school to stop mutilating, tormenting, and killing owls in sickening brain experiments that are irrelevant to humans.”

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

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