For Immediate Release:
January 25, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Portland, Ore. – Following a successful years-long public records lawsuit, PETA is releasing video footage today from Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) taxpayer-funded experiments on prairie voles in which the animals were paired up for just one week before being separated, given the equivalent of 15 bottles of wine a day, used in a battery of tests, and then killed. This cruel and bizarre procedure, experimenter Andrey Ryabinin claims, somehow sheds light on human alcohol consumption and infidelity.
In one test, a male vole was placed in a cage with his “partner” tethered at one end and another female tethered at the opposite end. Experimenters recorded how much time the male spent “huddling” with each female. In another test, a male vole “intruder” was dropped into a cage occupied by a “resident” male. The experimenters then observed the voles’ fighting. Following the tests, all the voles were killed and their brains, along with the fetuses of pregnant females, were dissected.
“Abusing these tiny social animals by giving them alcohol teaches us absolutely nothing about inebriated men,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “OHSU fought tooth and nail to keep these experiments under wraps, and the videos show why: There could be no more wasteful or cruel way to spend $3 million in taxpayer funds.”
PETA filed suit in 2020 after OHSU refused to comply with the group’s public records request, claiming for years that the videos were not in its possession, that it did not own them, and that if any videos had existed, they had been destroyed—all falsehoods that were exposed by PETA. This July, the Multnomah County Circuit Court found that OHSU had caused “undue delay” and unreasonably withheld the records in violation of Oregon’s public records law. During the course of the lawsuit, OHSU police officers were also found to have conducted illegal surveillance of PETA’s protected free speech activities.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.