Wisconsin Companies Refuse Ads Urging Lab Workers to Report Abuse

PETA Billboards Offer Hotline for Whistleblowers Who Witness Violations of Animal-Protection Laws

For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2013

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Madison, Wis. — In defiance of free-speech principles, Wisconsin outdoor ad companies have rejected three different nongraphic versions of a PETA billboard offering a safe place for laboratory workers to report suspected violations of animal-protection laws—violations that go undiscovered by federal inspectors who visit facilities only once or twice a year. 

PETA first tried to place the whistleblower ads near the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW), where the group exposed archaic brain experiments in which cats have steel posts screwed into open wounds on their heads and metal coils implanted in their eyes. The ads were refused everywhere within 30 miles of the campus and as far away as Milwaukee. None of the ads mentions UW by name, and even versions that excluded graphic photos of Double Trouble—the cat who was killed in UW’s laboratory and whose image has been seen by millions on PETA’s website and Facebook pages—were rejected. The companies called the ad content objectionable but offered no further explanation.

“People who work in laboratories have been instrumental in exposing the horrific abuse of animals in experiments—including at UW,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo. “We welcome confidential calls and e-mails from anyone who wants to report cruelty and violations of animal-protection laws in laboratories.”

A whistleblower at UW helped PETA reveal the suffering of cats who endured chronic infections in their eyes and skulls following sloppy invasive surgeries. Other recent whistleblowers helped PETA expose cruel military training drills in which inadequately anesthetized goats had their limbs cut off with tree trimmers and incidents at pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb in which monkeys and other animals died because of staff negligence. These last two whistleblower reports to PETA resulted in citations for violations of federal animal-protection laws. 

PETA plans to leaflet in the Madison area and may try to run its whistleblower ads on bus shelters and taxi cabs and in other locations.

For more information about PETA’s whistleblower program, please visit PETA.org/Whistleblower

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