New Billboard Blasts Cruel Animal Experiments

PETA Ups the Pressure on Princeton-Area Laboratories to End Scientifically Worthless ‘Forced Swim Tests’ and Other Experiments

For Immediate Release:
January 3, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Lawrence Township, N.J.

As part of a new nationwide ad blitz calling for an end to animal testing, PETA has placed a billboard near several large animal laboratories in the Princeton area.

The ad is located on I-295 in Lawrence Township and will be in place for four weeks.

New Jersey—considered an epicenter of the pharmaceutical industry—is home to 21 federally registered animal laboratories, including Envigo, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Intervet, and those at Princeton University. Federal documents reveal that, in 2017, laboratories in the state used 64,425 animals—including 4,247 dogs, 2,940 monkeys, 8,381 rabbits, and 16,495 guinea pigs—in cruel and deadly experiments. More than 9,600 of these animals were used in painful experiments without being given any pain-relieving drugs. Hundreds of thousands of rats and mice were likely also used, but these animals weren’t counted and aren’t protected under animal-welfare laws.

The billboard features a picture of a monkey strapped into a restraint chair, immobilized at the waist, wrists, and neck. Restraint chairs are routinely used in primate laboratories. The photograph was taken during a groundbreaking PETA investigation that led to the first-ever cruelty charges against a U.S. animal experimenter.

The placement of the billboard follows a shareholder resolution filed by PETA in November urging Princeton-based Bristol-Myers Squibb to end its use of the forced swim test, in which mice, rats, and gerbils are placed in inescapable beakers filled with water and made to swim to keep from drowning. Experimenters claim that the test produces a model of depression in animals, but its applicability to human health has been substantially refuted by scientists. Following appeals from PETA, pharma giant AbbVie agreed to end the use of this test. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 95 percent of experimental drugs that appear promising in animal tests go on to fail in human clinical trials.

“Sensitive living beings suffer every time they’re strapped into a restraint chair, dropped into a beaker of water and forced to swim until exhausted, addicted to drugs, or used in other cruel and useless experiments,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Companies are ditching animal tests left and right, and PETA is calling on Invivotek, Bristol-Myers, and other Princeton laboratories to do the same—or find themselves drowning in wasted resources and faulty, inconclusive research.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—is also posting the ad near other notorious laboratories in South Carolina, Florida, and elsewhere.

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