Yale Experimenter Reported to D.A. for Tormenting Birds

PETA Calls On District Attorney to Investigate Christine Lattin For Cruelty, Funders to Revoke Support for Pointless and Painful Tests

For Immediate Release:
May 24, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

New Haven, Conn.

PETA filed a complaint today with the Middlesex County district attorney asking for an investigation into apparent violations of anti-cruelty laws by Christine Lattin, a Yale University postdoctoral student, formerly at Tufts University, who for years trapped wild songbirds in Massachusetts and forced them to endure painful and traumatizing procedures in chronic-stress studies.

Lattin has subjected sparrows and other birds to intramuscular injections to destroy their adrenal glands chemically—increasing the birds’ vulnerability to dehydration, anemia, weakness, and abdominal pain. In order to cause them stress and fear, she’s played loud music, rattled their cages every two minutes, restrained them in a cloth bag for long periods, and rolled their cages around on carts continuously for 30 minutes so that the birds couldn’t perch. She’s fed crude oil mixed with feed to sparrows (a species not normally affected by oil spills), plucked dozens of feathers from their bodies, inflicted wounds on their legs using a biopsy punch, and surgically implanted capsules under the skin to administer drugs and then removed them—all without pain medication. After weeks of painful, invasive, and cruel experiments, the birds weren’t released to their natural homes but were killed instead.

“The results of Christine Lattin’s experiments are meaningless to conservation efforts, to humans, and even to birds, since species vary widely in their physiological responses to chronic stress,” says PETA veterinarian Dr. Ingrid Taylor. “These experiments should never have been approved by the oversight bodies at Yale and Tufts, and the schools share culpability for this abuse.”

PETA has also sent letters to organizations funding these cruel experiments—including the American Ornithologists’ Union—urging them to withdraw monetary support and has rallied its members to urge Yale officials to end the experiments.

PETA’s complaints are available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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