Violations of Federal Law Uncovered at University of Delaware

PETA Urges School to Pull the Plug on Cruel Experiments on Animals at Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences

For Immediate Release:
October 30, 2018

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Newark, Del.Through a Freedom of Information Act request, PETA has obtained federal documents revealing that experimenters with the University of Delaware’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences repeatedly violated federal animal-protection guidelines, resulting in the suffering and deaths of dozens of animals.

According to the documents—which were released by the National Institutes of Health—one rat drowned during a “forced swim” test, in which animals are placed in inescapable beakers of water. The worker who was supposed to be monitoring multiple animals—who were all trapped in beakers of water—failed to notice that the rat was no longer able to keep his head above water. In another incident, experimenter Anna Klintsova didn’t abide by the protocol of an approved experiment and withheld food from 23 rats, who lost nearly 15 percent of their bodyweight in just nine days. Klintsova was studying fetal alcohol syndrome—a condition that normally never affects baby rats. In a third incident, smoke from a fire poured into a room in which 75 rats were caged—and because experimenter Tania Roth was using them to study stress, she had them killed, claiming that the stress resulting from smoke exposure would have affected her data.

“PETA already revealed Tania Roth’s cruel electroshock and drowning experiments, but she appears to be just one of many merciless abusers in the University of Delaware’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences,” says PETA Vice President Alka Chandna, Ph.D. “PETA is calling on the university to end this department’s cruel experiments on animals and is urging federal funding agencies to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on funding these egregious violations.”

PETA has called on the university to end Roth’s taxpayer-funded depression, stress, and child-abuse experiments on rats. Among other procedures, Roth has repeatedly shocked baby rats’ feet, forced alcohol down newborn rats’ throats, and stuffed pregnant mothers inside tiny restraint tubes and blasted them with strobe lights and white noise—all to replicate early-childhood abuse and trauma. Many of Roth’s findings can’t be reproduced, and her own studies have contradicted each other.

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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