For Immediate Release:
May 27, 2021
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
College Station, Texas – Texas A&M University, represented by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, has ended the unconstitutional transit system advertising policy that PETA challenged with a free-speech lawsuit and acknowledged that the policy violated PETA’s rights, prompting the group to agree to the suit’s dismissal today.
After Texas A&M refused to run a PETA ad on its buses showing a dog used in its canine muscular dystrophy (MD) experiments, the group filed its lawsuit, arguing that the school’s policy prohibiting “political” advertisements was vague and discriminated against PETA’s viewpoint, in violation of the First Amendment. After the school unsuccessfully pushed for the lawsuit to be dismissed, it admitted that the policy was unconstitutional—and it has now changed its advertising policy to allow bus ads only from Texas A&M itself and from commercial enterprises.
“Texas A&M is so desperate to keep PETA ads off its buses that it was willing to violate our rights and is now blacklisting all charity ads,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “This lawsuit may be ending, but PETA’s campaign to free the dogs still trapped in the school’s laboratory will continue.”
The dog on PETA’s ad is Peony, one of those at Texas A&M who struggled to walk, swallow, and even breathe. She repeatedly suffered from parasites, was subjected to painful surgeries, and was regularly soaked in the drool caused by her enlarged tongue. She was put down at 22 months old.
Under pressure from PETA supporters, 500 physicians, and humans with MD, Texas A&M stopped breeding dogs to develop the disease. The lead experimenter has retired, and many of the nearly 100 dogs have been adopted into homes—but the laboratory still keeps 20 dogs imprisoned there.
PETA has filed two other First Amendment lawsuits, challenging Texas A&M’s deletion of comments about the dog laboratory on its official Facebook page and other social media sites. The group settled the first lawsuit to its satisfaction, and the second is pending.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.