Video: Muscular Dystrophy Patient Condemns Texas A&M’s Dog Experiments

'I Have Not Asked for Animals to Suffer for Me,' Says PETA Supporter

For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2017

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

College Station, Texas – In a new PETA video, Pascaline Wittkowski, a French woman who uses a wheelchair and has suffered for 40 years from muscular dystrophy (MD), calls for an end to experiments on dogs, describing them as useless and cruel. Her comments follow PETA’s release of video footage from an MD dog laboratory at Texas A&M University (TAMU) that shows crippled golden retrievers who struggled to walk and swallow.

“I have not asked for animals to suffer for me,” says Wittkowski. “I don’t want this. It hurts. It hurts knowing that living beings, individuals, sensitive, conscious beings, will be deprived of their lives, will suffer, will have a lifetime of suffering, be brought into this world just to suffer, just for me, to attempt to cure a disease.”

Eyewitness video footage obtained by PETA of a TAMU laboratory shows dogs confined to barren pens and struggling to walk, swallow, and even breathe as strings of saliva hang from their mouths. Dogs who didn’t exhibit symptoms but carried the gene for canine MD were used for breeding—and were left to pace frantically on the hard, slatted floors and gnaw in frustration on cage bars. Three decades of experiments on dogs have failed to provide a cure for or treatment to reverse the symptoms of MD.

“We have to stop kidding ourselves and believing that we’ll find medicines for humans by using other animal species,” says Wittkowski. “Today, there are researchers who are committed, who work, who have been working for several years, on efficient, reliable methods consistent with human genetics and the human genome, and who are starting to get results. Why keep funding research that doesn’t heal?”

Says PETA’s Dr. Alka Chandna, “Pascaline Wittkowski represents an entire generation of humans suffering with muscular dystrophy who have been shortchanged while research dollars are squandered on experiments that have been an unqualified failure.”

PETA is calling on TAMU to close the MD dog laboratory; commit to using cutting-edge, animal-free research methods; and release the dogs for adoption into loving homes.

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