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Hopkins' animal testing deserves PETA's challenge

A volunteer displays an identification tattoo inside the ear of a former laboratory research beagle shortly after the dog's release in 2016.
A volunteer displays an identification tattoo inside the ear of a former laboratory research beagle shortly after the dog's release in 2016.(Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

PETA is running an ad in which a teddy bear stands in for the real-life victims of animal experimentation because airing actual footage would be too graphic for FCC censors and social media standards (“PETA to run ad in Baltimore challenging animals testing,” Nov. 13). If Johns Hopkins University objects to the use of a stuffed animal as a surrogate to represent their experiments, they should step up and release real-life footage from inside their own laboratories.

They can start with the Johns Hopkins laboratory where barn owls are restrained, electrodes inserted into their brains and headphones placed on their heads to blast noises directly into their ears. Experimenters absurdly claim this will provide insights into how to treat ADHD in humans. The reality is that no one will benefit from this cruelty except the experimenters and the university which reap huge financial rewards in the form of federal grants.

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Elsewhere on campus, scientists have recently demonstrated that modern, sophisticated computational methods are providing data that is “more reliable than animal testing.” Maybe it’s time for Johns Hopkins to listen to these faculty members instead of the ones who have a twisted desire to torment owls, monkeys, dogs and countless other animals in pointless laboratory experiments.

Jeremy Beckham, Norfolk, Va.

The writer is employed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

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