Today actor James Cromwell was arrested at the UW Madison while protesting experimentation on cats with PETA. James Cromwell is perhaps best known for starring in the film “Babe”.
I was moved by this video.
My thoughts: We are all better humans for providing exemplary lives for the animals in our care and in our midst. I am disturbed by the conditions the cats were placed under at the UW in this 2008 audiology study. Based on what I’ve read – especially the statement by Dr. Lawrence Hansen – this sort of experimentation is not necessary for society and was unjustified cruelty. I urge the UW to move away from animal experimentation at every turn now and in the future and to be transparent about what happened to these cats.
“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).”
These experiments ostensibly are meant to research hearing.
In 2012, PETA filed a complaint against the UW for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act.
From a September 2012 Daily Cardinal article:
“PETA alleges UW-Madison mistreated dozens of cats by inserting electrodes into their brains and intentionally deafening them during the study, focusing on one cat in particular named Double Trouble. The organization also filed formal complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health.
“It took PETA more than three years to pry photographs of Double Trouble out of UW,” PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said in a statement. “Anyone who sees them will understand why the university tried to keep her miserable life and death a secret.”…
…USDA officials had previously found 20 violations within university research programs during a 2009 visit, according to The Capitol Times. A follow-up visit in July 2010 revealed UW-Madison had not sufficiently corrected six of the violations, including the use of outdated medications and a cockroach infestation, according to a USDA inspection report obtained by The Capitol Times.”
Dr. Lawrence Hansen wrote in an op-ed called “Cruel cat experiments unnecessary” that:
“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.”
Dr. James Yahr also wrote an op-ed:
“Dear Editor: As a surgeon, a Wisconsin native and a UW-Madison Medical School alumnus, I was shocked and disappointed at UW’s dishonest attempt to defend the gruesome procedures conducted on unsuspecting cats in its labs by claiming they are the same as those performed on humans receiving implants to improve their hearing….”
In a 4-paragraph statement written last year, UW Madison said that PETA’s claims about the cat research are “unsubstantiated” and “grossly misleading”.