PETA Calls on NFL to Stop Funding Head-Bashing Experiments on Animals

Smashing Rats’ Heads, Mutilating Dogs Will Do Nothing to Protect Players, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
September 11, 2013

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

New York — In the wake of the National Football League’s (NFL) concussion-related $765 million settlement with ex-players, PETA—joined by Dr. Lawrence Hansen, a world-renowned physician and neuropathology expert from the University of California–San Diego—is calling on the NFL and the NFL Foundation to ensure that none of the $10 million earmarked for medical research and education goes toward funding additional cruel and irrelevant head-injury experiments on animals. 

In a letter sent today to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Foundation Chair Charlotte Jones Anderson, who is also executive vice president of the Dallas Cowboys, PETA explains that pounding animals’ heads with metal objects is wrong and that experts agree that it doesn’t accurately replicate the complex injuries sustained by football players. The NFL Foundation has funded cruel experiments on animals for more than a decade.   

According to the International Brain Injury Association, no treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI) that came out of animal testing has worked in human patients because “animal models of TBI cannot possibly capture the diversity of the human physical injury after TBI.” A recent major study on football-related head injuries stated that “animal data cannot be directly applied to humans.”

“Years of bashing rats’ heads in have told us nothing about how to prevent or treat traumatic head injuries in human football players,” says PETA Director of Laboratory Investigations Justin Goodman. “PETA is calling on the NFL to throw a flag for unnecessary roughness on these wasteful, cruel, and deadly experiments on animals and rely on modern methods that are actually relevant to humans, including data collected from the players themselves.”

The NFL-funded projects, many of which are ongoing, have involved inflicting severe knee injuries on dogs, after which the animals were killed and had their legs cut off; repeatedly slamming heavy weights into rats’ heads to create brain and spinal cord injuries and skull fractures; and cutting open the heads of mice and delivering crushing blows to cause traumatic brain injuries. Many animals have even died during the studies because of the severe injuries that they sustained.  

For more information and to view images of NFL Foundation-funded experiment on animals, please click here.

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