PETA to Take Over Johns Hopkins University Campus to Call Out Cruel Animal Experiments

For Immediate Release:
April 11, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


To encourage empathy for animals suffering in university laboratories, PETA and peta2, part of PETA’s youth division, are bringing two eye-opening experiences—Abduction and “Without Consent”—to Johns Hopkins University (JHU), where animals have suffered acutely in painful, pointless tests. These include JHU experimenter Shreesh Mysore’s notorious brain-scrambling studies on owls, in which he cuts into barn owls’ skulls, implants electrodes in their brains, forces them into restraint devices, clamps their eyes open, and bombards them with noises and lights for up to 12 hours before killing them.

Kicking off the action on Monday, PETA will bring “Without Consent”—an exhibit that explores the troubled history of experiments on animals—to JHU during the final stop of a national tour that has spanned 35 cities and attracted over 20,000 visitors. Modeled after the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the traveling display features almost 200 stories about experiments on animals conducted at U.S. institutions from the 1920s through the present. “Without Consent”will be on display locally for five days. Watch the trailer here. An interactive virtual exhibit is also available here.

When: Monday, April 15, to Friday, April 19, 12 noon–4 p.m.

Where: East 34th and Charles streets, Baltimore

Credit: PETA

And beginning Wednesday, peta2 will visit the JHU campus with Abduction, an award-winning virtual reality experience. Students will seemingly find themselves stranded in the desert with a couple of fellow humans, abducted by aliens, taken aboard a spaceship, and subjected to a shocking experience, similar to what animals endure in laboratories. They’ll watch as their friends are subjected to painful tests—knowing that they’ll be next.

When: Wednesday, April 17, and Thursday, April 18, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Where: East 34th and Charles streets, Baltimore

Text reads: Imagine having your body left to science-while you're still in it. Abduction arriving at a campus near you this spring

Credit: peta2

Laboratories at JHU have been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failing to give animals pain relief, failing to administer veterinary care, and using expired drugs, among other serious violations of federal animal welfare regulations. In 2023, the USDA took the rare step of fining the university $12,300 for its actions leading to the deaths of a dog, a rabbit, a pig whose broken elbows had gone unnoticed, and monkeys—including one who had escaped and was later found dead in a floor drain. Despite this egregious pattern of violations, JHU received over $842 million from the National Institutes of Health in 2023 alone.

“Many students don’t know that on their own college campuses, frightened and confused animals are being psychologically tormented, mutilated, and killed in laboratories, with no way to escape or even understand what’s happening to them,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on Johns Hopkins University and all other institutions to embrace modern, animal-free research because having the power to exploit other species does not give us the right to do so.”

Studies show that 90% of all basic research—most of which involves animals—fails to lead to treatments for humans, which is why PETA and peta2 are pushing universities to pivot to sophisticated, human-relevant research methods.

Since its debut in 2021, “Without Consent”has moved more than 2,700 visitorsto contact their legislators, urging them to oppose animal testing and endorse the Research Modernization Deal, which offers a strategy for replacing scientifically useless tests on animals with cutting-edge, animal-free research.

Abduction—which was filmed in VR180 with assistance from the immersive content creation studio Prosper XR—has stopped at nearly 50 other college campuses over the past year, including Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California–Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin. Abduction won Gold and Audience honors at the 2023 Shorty Impact Awards and is a nominee for the 28th annual Webby Awards.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—points out thatEvery Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

For more information about peta2, please visit or follow the group on TikTok or Instagram.

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