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Animals Burned, Mutilated and Neglected at University of Texas Medical Branch!

An insider at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) has contacted PETA to report that dogs, monkeys, sheep, goats, ferrets, and mice are being used in cruel experiments in which their bodies are burned, mutilated, and cut open and that these animals are also suffering as a result of inadequate veterinary care, improperly trained staff, careless handling, and severe neglect.

The whistleblower says that experimenter Daniel Traber subjected sheep, pigs, and mice to third-degree burns on up to 40 percent of their bodies and forced the animals to inhale smoke from burning cotton. UTMB experimenters also intentionally caused spinal cord and sciatic nerve injuries in sheep. One sheep who was subjected to back surgery reportedly could not stand for three days following the surgery and was given no pain relief.

Our source also reports the following:

  • UTMB faculty members cut open dogs and surgically implanted tubes into their colons for irritable bowel experiments. One dog reportedly died during surgery, and another died in pain following surgery when staff members did not provide anesthetics and were apparently unable to use the monitoring equipment correctly. 
  • A macaque monkey—a highly social being for whom social contact is necessary to maintain physical and mental health—was confined by herself to a stainless steel cage in a room where she had no contact with and no opportunity to see or hear other nonhuman primates. 
  • Several sheep and one pig suffered serious injuries, including a broken leg and trauma so severe that it caused one sheep's intestines to penetrate her chest cavity. 
  • Mice died, most likely as a result of dehydration, after staff members failed to notice that the animals did not have access to water. 

PETA has repeatedly reached out to UTMB through letters and phone calls in an attempt to discuss these alleged violations with the university directly, but our correspondence and calls have been totally ignored. In response to two complaints filed by PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken the rare step of fining the facility $9,143 for egregious violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act—including failing to supply veterinary care to a sheep who had been used in experimental back surgery and could not stand up, failing to supply adequate veterinary care to a goat who died on an operating table, and failing to supply post-procedural pain relief to three sheep used in experimental surgeries.

You can also be a voice for the animals at UTMB. Please take a minute of your time today to urge UTMB's executive assistant to the president, Jandee Alarid, to immediately conduct a thorough investigation of the university's laboratories and dismiss any employees whose incompetence, negligence, or outright cruelty are found to have contributed to increased pain and misery for animals.

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