Provocative Exhibit to Expose Violent History of Animal Experiments, Including at LSU

For Immediate Release:
April 26, 2022

Contact:
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Baton Rouge, La. – As part of a national tour, PETA is erecting a large exhibit titled “Without Consent” that explores the troubled history of experiments on nonconsenting animals and challenges institutions—including Louisiana State University (LSU)—to rethink this exploitative, expensive, cruel, and archaic idea of science. On display for five days, 24 panels will bear concise descriptions and photographs of nearly 200 animal experiments conducted at U.S. institutions from the 1920s through today. An interactive virtual exhibit is also available here.

When:    Wednesday, April 27, 12 noon

Where:    At the intersection of Veterans and W. Campus drives, Baton Rouge

“‘Without Consent’ tells the true stories of animals harmed and killed in experiments that they did not and could not consent to,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “Humans are only one animal species among many, and having the power to exploit the others does not give us the right to do so.”

Each of the 110 million animals killed every year in U.S. laboratories is an individual who experiences pain and fear—yet they’re burned, force-fed chemicals, sickened with disease, and robbed of their babies. In recent experiments, LSU experimenter Christine Lattin captured dozens of wild house sparrows, affixed transmitters to them, injected them with sex steroids for a week, and tormented them with the sounds of predators before recapturing them and their babies, killing them all, and cutting their heads off. Lattin has also tested birds’ fear of unfamiliar objects by depriving them of food for 15 hours and then putting random items near their food dishes to see how readily the birds would approach. Then she killed them.

Other LSU experimenters have injected bacterial products into baby mice bred to display schizophrenia-like behavior, hung mice from a tube by their tails for an extended period while they struggled to escape and reach the ground, and forced mice to complete memory tests in mazes, then removed their brains while they were under anesthesia and still alive. Experimenters have infected young gerbils with worms, killing the animals after allowing the worms to grow and multiply in their hearts, lungs, and lymph nodes. In 2019, PETA obtained a whistleblower report and extensive e-mails indicating that LSU had purchased at least 70 live dogs from a Baton Rouge animal shelter in order to use them in lethal anatomical laboratory procedures and possibly for other purposes. E-mails revealed that LSU instructed that the dogs be transferred alive to the university because they needed to “be freshly dead, so we can put them down here with our drugs to help with timing.”

Because 95% of all new drugs that test safe and effective in animal tests go on to fail or cause harm in human clinical trials, PETA is calling on the National Institutes of Health—which gave LSU more than $17 million in taxpayer funds in 2021—to phase out the use of animals in experiments and adopt the group’s Research Modernization Deal.

“Without Consent” uses a historical perspective to point out that beginning in medieval times, experiments were conducted on vulnerable humans—including orphans in tuberculosis and psychological experiments, immigrant women in gynecological surgeries, soldiers in LSD and poison gas tests, and impoverished Black men in syphilis experiments. The exhibit illustrates that just as society now understands that these experiments were wrong, we need to let that moral awakening guide our conduct today and to extend consideration to other nonconsenting beings who suffer and die in experiments—from floor-cleaner product tests to mother-infant separation studies.

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

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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