St. Mary’s Experimenter Under Fire for Repeatedly Starving Animals

PETA Asks University President for an Immediate End to Marshall McCue's Cruel Starvation Experiments That Have Yielded No Useful Results

For Immediate Release:
May 4, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

San Antonio – PETA sent a letter this morning calling on St. Mary’s University President Thomas Mengler to end faculty member Marshall McCue’s cruel starvation experiments on animals, which, after seven years, have failed to produce any results with therapeutic value for human or veterinary medicine.

In his most recent study, McCue starved 52 rats repeatedly for up to 11 days at a time. These animals lost up to 30 percent of their body weight. The highly social and sensitive animals were confined alone in “shoebox” cages and deprived of any bedding material for warmth because they might have eaten it out of desperation. The rats were then gassed with carbon dioxide while they were still conscious, a death that studies have shown causes animals extreme distress and pain. The study was funded by an on-campus grant and a St. Mary’s Biaggini Research Fellowship.

McCue’s publications show that in addition to rats, he has starved Japanese quail, house sparrows, snakes, mice, tilapia, toads, and geckos. He has also frozen hamsters and heated, suffocated, and starved insects to death.

“St. Mary’s is a Catholic college that identifies ‘service, justice and peace’ as some of its foundational tenets, but it’s starving animals behind its doors,” says PETA veterinarian Dr. Ingrid Taylor. “St. Mary’s needs to shut these studies down now and focus instead on superior, animal-free research.”

PETA letter to St. Mary’s is available upon request. For more information, please visit

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Media Response Team.


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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