For Immediate Release:
February 22, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Baton Rouge, La. – PETA is doubling down today on its call to strip Louisiana State University (LSU) experimenter Christine Lattin of taxpayer funding for her bogus experiments after having reviewed the findings of yet another exceptionally cruel study with a high avian body count.
In today’s letter to the Louisiana Board of Regents, which bankrolled the experiments with taxpayer money, PETA neuroscientist Dr. Katherine Roe says that Lattin’s recent experiment, in which she trapped, tormented, and killed 33 female sparrows, “renews our concerns that the harm inflicted on vulnerable and sensitive songbirds … cannot be justified by the underwhelming findings of the work.”
In the experiment, Lattin surgically inserted hormone capsules in the sparrows’ backs and exposed them to predator sounds or male sparrow calls for 30 minutes before killing them and removing their brains for analysis.
Lattin’s big finding? Female sparrows remain alert to predators after being pumped full of reproductive hormones. This is a “hardly surprising outcome,” Roe says in the letter, “since one would expect survival instincts honed by natural selection to override any amorous drive.”
“It’s difficult to imagine a study with more underwhelming findings than this one,” Roe says. “PETA urges LSU and the Louisiana Board of Regents to redirect any remaining funds for her experiments to ethical and deserving projects.”
PETA filed a lawsuit against LSU in 2020 after the school refused to release public documents, including veterinary-care records and videos recorded by Lattin. Last year, the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge ruled that LSU must turn over to PETA all the records that the group had requested related to Lattin’s experiments and ordered LSU to pay $73,501.27 in attorney’s fees and costs to PETA, a decision that LSU has appealed.
Since 2008, Lattin has tormented and killed hundreds of birds in other curiosity-driven experiments that have made equally useless determinations, including that birds dislike captivity and the taste of crude oil. Lattin’s Louisiana Board of Regents contract indicates that she planned to kill an additional 151 sparrows for other experiments funded by this grant.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.