Maryland State Senator Calls For Sanctions and an End to Owl Experiments at JHU

For Immediate Release:
June 16, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


Maryland state Sen. Benjamin F. Kramer sent letters this week to Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) calling on them to ensure that JHU experimenter Shreesh Mysore’s deadly brain tests on owls permanently end and to sanction him for repeatedly violating state law.

“[T]hese experiments on owls have been a source of great public concern and appear to render no concrete translatability to human health,” writes Kramer. “I find it astounding that JHU, which receives millions of taxpayer dollars, on an annual basis, has so flagrantly disregarded Maryland State Law and allowed the owls to be killed.”

“Continuing to give Shreesh Mysore millions of taxpayer dollars to torture owls in tests while he violates laws left and right is proof of a culture of corruption in science,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “We applaud Sen. Kramer for holding federal, state, and university officials accountable and for demanding an end to Mysore’s barbaric owl experiments.”

Kramer reminds the agencies that from 2015 to 2018, Mysore failed to obtain mandatory permits to possess barn owls legally for use in his experiments. He subsequently obtained a permit, but last month—after PETA alerted the MD DNR that Mysore’s experiments involve killing owls, which also violates Maryland state law—the agency revoked his permit and issued him a new one expressly prohibiting him from killing the owls. This should effectively end the experiments, as they require mutilating and killing the birds.

Mysore’s tests—conducted purportedly to study human attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, despite the hearing and vision differences between the species—involve cutting into barn owls’ skulls, implanting electrodes in their brains, forcing the birds into cramped plastic tubes or jackets, clamping their eyes open, and bombarding them with sounds and lights for up to 12 hours. Mysore has received more than $1.9 million in taxpayer funds for these tests despite their meager 5% “approximate potential to translate” to human health.

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

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