PETA Urges DA to Investigate LSU Experimenter for Capturing, Killing Birds

Documents Reveal That Christine Lattin Planned Cruel Stress Tests on Wild-Caught Sparrows

For Immediate Release:
June 3, 2020

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Baton Rouge, La. – After obtaining documents revealing that Louisiana State University experimenter Christine Lattin has apparently captured, confined to laboratory cages, and killed approximately 80 sparrows, PETA sent an urgent letter to the Office of the District Attorney requesting an investigation into Lattin’s actions in potentially violating the Baton Rouge municipal code, which designates the city as a bird sanctuary and prohibits trapping and harming wild birds.

In the letter, PETA points to a recent research proposal by Lattin showing that ​she has apparently trapped and killed 80 sparrows, ​pumping 20 males and 20 females with sex steroids for a week before exposing them to predator  calls and then killing them.  ​Additionally, she intends to capture and kill an estimated 100-plus birds over the next two years, including breeding pairs and their chicks, for use in cruel stress tests. In the tests, Lattin plans to subject nesting sparrows to a barrage of predator calls meant to stress and frighten them—and after their chicks hatch, she plans to kill all the birds and dissect their brains. Significant differences between humans and birds—and even among different bird species—mean that these experiments won’t tell us why some animals handle stress better than others and don’t have any relevance to stress experienced by humans.

“For more than a decade, Christine Lattin has captured, physically harmed, terrified, and killed wild-caught birds in cruel experiments, and now it appears that she may be willing to break the law in order to continue doing so,” says PETA veterinarian Dr. Ingrid Taylor. “PETA is calling on officials to investigate and, if warranted, throw the book at her for making a mockery of city laws meant to protect wild birds.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—notes that Lattin has previously stressed birds by wounding their legs, rattling their cages, and restraining them in cloth bags. She’s fed them crude oil mixed with feed and subjected them to injections that damaged their adrenal glands. After enduring these experiments, the birds were killed.

PETA’s letter to District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III is available upon request. The group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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