As Texas A&M Considers Expanding Cruel Dog Experiments, PETA Escalates Campaign

Recent Paper Reveals That Experimenters Are Considering Breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to Suffer From Muscular Dystrophy

For Immediate Release:
July 26, 2017

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

College Station, Texas

After a muscular dystrophy–afflicted Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Buckley suffered and died in Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) laboratories, experimenters wrote in a recent paper that they are “evaluating options to perpetuate this canine model” for their experiments. This morning, PETA fired off a letter urging TAMU President Michael K. Young to bar any expansion of the university’s deliberate breeding of dogs with crippling muscular dystrophy and to shut down TAMU’s dog laboratories immediately.

“It is reckless to imagine that breeding muscular dystrophy-afflicted spaniels and experimenting on them will produce therapies for humans when thirty-five years of manipulating golden retrievers in this manner have failed to produce a cure or even a treatment that would reverse muscular dystrophy symptoms in humans,” says PETA Research Associate Dr. Emily Trunnell. “PETA is calling on President Young to shut down these hellish laboratories before any more dogs are sentenced to misery and death in metal cages.”

In their paper, the TAMU experimenters indicate that Buckley was given to experimenters by his “caregiver.” Even as a puppy, he had difficulty chewing and swallowing, became tired easily, and collapsed after even brief periods of trotting. Records obtained by PETA from TAMU document that despite his deteriorating condition—he weighed less than 11 pounds—he was transferred, along with 84 other dogs, to TAMU in June 2012. At TAMU, he suffered from lung congestion, thick nasal discharge, a heart murmur, excessive saliva production, lethargy, muscle atrophy, corneal scarring in both eyes, and other conditions. In March 2013, he died of complications from anesthesia.

Eyewitness video footage obtained by PETA shows golden retrievers who were deliberately bred to develop muscular dystrophy. As the disease ravaged their bodies, they struggled to walk, swallow, and even breathe. Those without symptoms but who carried the gene for the disease were used for breeding.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—is calling on TAMU to release all surviving dogs for adoption into loving homes and commit to using cutting-edge, animal-free research methods.

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