Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way.

Ask NIH to Stop Funding Cruel UW Experiment on Cats!

For decades, experimenters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) have been conducting cruel and useless taxpayer-funded "sound localization" studies in which cats have steel coils implanted in their eyes, holes drilled into their skulls, and electrodes implanted in their brains. Sometimes, cats used in this experiment have had their ears cut off or are intentionally deafened by having a toxic chemical applied to their inner ear. The cats are then deprived of food for several days in order to coerce them to look in the direction of sounds during experimental sessions in which their heads are immobilized by a bolt screwed into their skulls.

Internal UW documents and photographs obtained by PETA in response to a successful lawsuit detail the miserable life and death of one of the cats, a gentle tabby named Double Trouble, who was abused and killed in this barbaric experiment. In one instance, Double Trouble woke up while experimenters were cutting into her head. Double Trouble developed serious infections as a result of her mutilations. She became lethargic and depressed, started to twitch, and suffered paralysis in half her face. After UW deemed the experiment a failure, the experimenters killed and decapitated Double Trouble so that they could examine her brain.

Double Trouble's sad story is not unique. Prompted by a complaint from PETA, all the cats whom PETA profiled in its complaint had been "diagnosed with chronic infections" after having steel posts screwed into open wounds on their heads and metal coils implanted into their eyes. During this investigation, the USDA also cited UW for violating the Animal Welfare Act because a cat named Broc was burned so badly with a heating pad that she required surgery. A separate report by the National Institutes of Health found the same problems with infections and that UW's justification for the use of cats and the number of cats used was inadequate, prompting the agency to order the laboratory to halt the experiments for six months and implement major reforms.

A former UW veterinarian who oversaw the treatment of Double Trouble and other cats used in this laboratory has also issued a letter to the USDA confirming this abuse, stating that many of the cats "suffered unnecessarily."

Shockingly, the federal government continues to support this irrelevant and deadly project and has provided UW with more than $3 million in grant money to abuse animals—even though researchers at other institutions around the world are already using modern methods with human volunteers to investigate how the brain locates and processes sound.

Please use the form below to contact the National Institutes of Health and urge the agency to cut funding for this crude and deadly project.

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