For Immediate Release:
June 9, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Baltimore – In a move that should end the torture of owls at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) has revoked the permit that allowed JHU experimenter Shreesh Mysore to kill the birds in his experiments.
The agency’s decision follows a PETA complaint alerting the MD DNR to Mysore’s admission in his National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant application of his intent to kill the owls—which would violate a Maryland law that voids such permits when wild animals are killed. Since Mysore’s study involves killing owls, the new permit restriction should lead to the end of his tests, which have been funded with $1.9 million in taxpayer money.
“Now that Mysore has literally lost his license to kill, owls will no longer die for experiments that leave them brain-damaged and suffering,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “This should end the atrocity on owls, and PETA is calling on NIH and Johns Hopkins to make it official.”
Mysore’s illegal experiments—conducted purportedly in an attempt to study human attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, despite the hearing and vision differences between the species—involve cutting into barn owls’ skulls, implanting electrodes in their brains, forcing the birds into plastic tubes or jackets so cramped that they can’t move their wings, clamping their eyes open, and bombarding them with sounds and lights for up to 12 hours.
Last year, PETA revealed that Mysore had conducted these invasive experiments on owls from 2015 to 2018 without any permit—in violation of state law. The MD DNR then warned him that he must renew the permit annually in order to be in compliance.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.