Provocative Exhibit to Expose Violent History of Animal Experiments, Including at Texas A&M

For Immediate Release:
March 22, 2022

Contact:
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

College Station, Texas – Taking aim at Texas A&M University’s transfer of nine healthy dogs to the school’s veterinary school laboratory—despite promises to release them to loving homes—PETA is erecting a large exhibit on campus titled “Without Consent” that explores the troubled history of experiments on nonconsenting animals. 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, March 23, 12 noon

Where:    On the northeast corner of Bizzell Street and University Drive, College Station

“‘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. “PETA’s exhibit will remind students that cruel experiments on animals haven’t ended and that dogs on campus need their help now.”

Purposely bred to have canine muscular dystrophy—a muscle-wasting disease that causes dogs to lose the ability to walk as puppies—golden retrievers at Texas A&M have been subjected to painful nerve damage and invasive muscle biopsies. Some puppies and dogs were strapped into a jacket system with wires and forced to wear a rigid plastic mask over their faces for breathing tests. Under pressure from people with muscular dystrophy, physicians, and PETA supporters, the university stopped breeding the dogs in 2019 and released dozens for adoption. But nine dogs who are not afflicted with the disease were transferred to the veterinary school teaching laboratory rather than being placed in homes. PETA has offered to take all the dogs.

The school’s history of abuse doesn’t end with dogs. Among other horrors, experimenters have locked pregnant rats in airtight containers and forced toxic, polluted air into the chambers until the mother rats gave birth. Experimenters have also injected rats with a chemical warfare agent, which caused seizures and brain damage.

“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 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