University of Delaware Rat Tormenter Needs Psychiatric Evaluation, Says PETA

Group Warns That Tania Roth's Experiments Causing Animals Physical Pain and Psychological Distress Appear to Reveal Lack of Empathy

For Immediate Release:
August 20, 2019

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Newark, Del. – Today, PETA sent an urgent letter to University of Delaware (UD) President Dennis Assanis requesting that UD experimenter Tania Roth—notorious for her long history of conducting painful depression, stress, and child-abuse experiments on rats—submit to an immediate and comprehensive psychiatric evaluation.

In the letter, PETA notes that Roth’s demonstrated lack of empathy and long history of inflicting pain and suffering on vulnerable animals could indicate a mental health disorder. Her latest set of experiments involved subjecting mother rats to invasive surgeries just one day after they gave birth. And she allowed them only one day of recovery from surgery before she began administering drugs directly into their brain on a daily basis. One week after delivering their babies, the mother rats were killed and dissected.

“For nearly 20 years, Roth has used taxpayer money to torment rats in failed experiments that seem to be growing increasingly violent and disturbing,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Roth is cutting into rats’ heads, but it appears that she may be the one who needs her head examined.”

Roth’s past experiments include shocking baby rats’ feet, forcing alcohol down newborn rats’ throats, stuffing pregnant mothers inside cramped restraint tubes and blasting them with strobe lights and white noise, and dropping rats into tanks of water. She’s taken newborn rats away from their mothers and given them to stressed females who, unequipped to care for the babies, have stepped on, dropped, dragged, and ignored them. She has restrained rats in a Plexiglas enclosure smeared with cat food and placed it in a small metal cage with an adult cat so that the rats would become terrified that they’d be killed.

In an analysis of Roth’s papers, PETA identified technical difficulties that resulted in poor and unreliable data and found that many of the findings contradict each other and can’t be reproduced—a fundamental requirement of any scientific study. Her experiments have resulted in zero practical treatments for abused human children.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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