People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents Tuesday urging the board to end a UW-Madison animal research project, presenting new allegations the university practiced animal cruelty in the experiments that began in 2008.
PETA’s accusation states UW-Madison harmed cats in research to improve cochlear implants, which improve hearing. PETA’s letter to the Board states nine cats faced “cruel and wasteful treatment,” including having metal posts drilled into their skulls and not receiving adequate treatment for infections.
PETA made similar allegations in September 2012 about a cat named Double Trouble. The United States Department of Agriculture opened an investigation into the research and found no violations.
PETA also sent complaints about the additional cats to the USDA and the National Institutes of Health, both of whom opened new investigations, according to a statement released by the group.
The Board received PETA’s letter and opened its own investigation into the allegations and found the claims to be unsubstantiated, according to Student Regent Katherine Pointer.
“We had an outside group of individuals and animal researchers and veterinarians do an investigation and they found [the allegations were] unsubstantiated,” Pointer said. “So unless new information is revealed or something else happens, the Board isn’t going to take any more action.”
Pointer also said the researcher involved with the experiments was “mortified” by the allegations, also saying they are unsubstantiated.
PETA spokesperson Jeremy Beckham said the group hopes the new investigation by the USDA will bring an end to the “sloppy and cruel experiments” at UW-Madison.
“We hope the USDA has the will to take action,” Beckham said. “They certainly have the evidence at their hands to give them the ability to do it.”
Additionally, Beckham said even if the new investigations find no violations, PETA hopes the Board of Regents will intervene and stop the experiments.
“Even if [the NIH and USDA] fail to act, we think the University of Wisconsin system has an obligation to act here because this experiment is tarnishing the university’s reputation,” Beckham said.
The USDA Office of the Inspector General declined to confirm or deny if the department is conducting an investigation.
Eric Sandgren says PETA’s claims were misleading. The pictures say it all.
PETA is taking on the University of Wisconsin-Madison over cat testing that they say is cruel. Tonight, Jane Velez-Mitchell moderates a heated debate between both sides.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals battled to release photos of a cat they say was named “Double Trouble” undergoing what they call useless and cruel experiments. And on the other side, the university defends their cat testing saying it’s necessary for the progression of science and that PETA’s claims are unsubstantiated and flawed. Watch as Jane moderates the heated debate.
Demonstrators supporting People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals displayed graphic photographs portraying a cat used in experiments to protest the University of Wisconsin’s alleged acts of animal cruelty Tuesday.
The group, carrying signs reading “UW: End Cruel Cat Experiments,” gathered at Library Mall yesterday afternoon as PETA worked to raise awareness about its allegations against the university. The protest’s main objective was to spread the message to UW students and the rest of the public by providing provocative pictures of cats that were forced to participate in UW research studies, according to Jeremy Beckham, research project manager for PETA’s Laboratory Investigation Department.
Beckham said PETA filed a lawsuit against the university after receiving information about a three-year cat study UW participated in and kept secret from the public. PETA also obtained several gruesome pictures of a cat involved in the study that Beckham said UW did not want to release.
“Taxpayers need to be fully aware where their money is going,” Beckham said. “Three million dollars of tax money has been used to fund these cruel projects.”
September Jaworek, a volunteer at a local animal shelter and an owner of a cat business, joined the protest by handing out pamphlets in an effort to inform the public of what she called “an uproar of animal cruelty at UW.”
Jaworek said many of UW’s techniques and experiment protocols were largely inconsiderate of the animals’ pain levels.
“[UW researchers] are putting steel implants in the cats’ heads and drilling coils in their eyes,” Jaworek said. “UW justifies their reasoning for these cat studies, but they are not taking into consideration the pain these cats are experiencing.”
Read full article here:
I was invited by UW-Madison last year to participate in a series of lectures exploring the ethics of animal research.
I made the case that the reality of experiments on animals is largely hidden from the public and that many would consider what routinely happens to cats, dogs and monkeys in labs to be torture.
I explained that many current experiments on animals have a tenuous link to improving human health. I also offered that an oversight system in which animal experimenters are charged with reviewing and approving the work of other animal experimenters is seriously flawed.
Sadly, these observations were quite prescient, and the recent case involving UW-Madison’s horrible brain experiments on cats is a case in point.
For years, the U.S. National Institutes of Health has funded, and UW-Madison has approved, an incredibly cruel sound localization experiment on cats based on the explanation that cutting into the brains of dozens of cats, drilling holes in their skulls, placing wire coils in their eyes, deafening them and starving them into compliance would help the experimenters, in their own words, “keep up a productive publication record that ensures our constant funding.”
The faculty members made virtually no claims that these inhumane studies would help treat humans, and that is further evidenced by this work not being cited in studies on human hearing.
As a physician and expert in human brain research — the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has named me one of the top 100 researchers on the world on the subject — I can tell you that research to better understand how the brain processes sound can be conducted ethically on human volunteers using sophisticated brain imaging and recording techniques.
Indeed, it is already being done in many university laboratories that recognize that best way to study the human brain is to do just that. Funding the UW-Madison’s violent and unnecessary experiments on cats means $3 million less is being spent on research that can actually improve human health and well-being.
If the fact that animals who most people view as family members are being tormented and killed in expensive, needless experiments that are irrelevant to humans is not enough to make people question the integrity of scientists and rethink support for this kind of work, the unsettling photos of these studies that the university fought to keep secret for the last three years should be.
The images of a sad tabby cat with her head ripped apart and grotesque contraptions implanted all over are enough to turn anyone into an animal rights activist.
This kind of cruel research on cats only continues because most people don’t know about it and, as a result, animal experimenters are only answerable to one another.
Now that daylight is being shined on this abuse, it’s only a matter of time until the public demands answers, accountability and an end to these deadly and unnecessary studies.
Dr. Lawrence Hansen is a professor in the departments of neurosciences and pathology at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine in La Jolla, Calif.
Cats Tormented and Killed in University Lab
For decades, countless cats have been imprisoned, cut into, and killed in cruel and useless “sound localization” experiments at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW).
When PETA learned that UW experimenters took photographs to document this abuse, we demanded that the school release the photos. Knowing that the public would be outraged if the truth came out, UW fought to keep its cruelty a secret for more than three years, but a successful PETA lawsuit compelled the university to release the images. PETA has now obtained dozens of disturbing never-before-seen photographs showing the miserable life and death of a beautiful orange tabby cat named Double Trouble, who was tormented for months in these experiments.
According to records obtained by PETA, Double Trouble was subjected to several invasive surgeries on her eyes, ears, and brain. In the first operation, steel coils were implanted into her eyes and a stainless steel post was screwed into her skull so that her head could be immobilized during experiments. In the next surgery—which is depicted in the photographs—Double Trouble had holes drilled into her skull so that electrodes could be inserted in her brain. Experimenters then applied a toxic substance to her inner ears to deafen her and electrical implants were placed deep inside both of her ears.
Read full story at http://www.peta.org/features/uw-madison-cruelty.aspx
Read even more – who is doing this work at UW? PETA Exposes a Bit of Cruelty at UW Madison – More Details
COME JOIN THE PROTEST
When: Tuesday, September 18, 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Library Mall at UW-Madison, at the corner of State St. and Lake St., Madison
Contact: Me, Lauren Stroyeck at LaurenS@peta.org, by phone at 757-962-8205