Readers of this blog are familiar with the photographs of Double Trouble, the orange tabby tortured in Tom Yin's lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Readers may also have read or know that PeTA filed detailed complaints alleging multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act with the USDA and NIH after long and careful review of records from the Yin lab that they obtained through a public records request. It took a three-year-long court battle to get the photos. The university is all about transparency, they like to say.
Readers may also know that the university rebutted PeTA's complaints. They claimed that not even one of the problems or alleged violations PeTA detailed were true. It was all a publicity stunt explained Eric Sandgren, the university's point-man for triage of all the university's animal cruelty related media headline embarrassments.
Readers who looked at the university's Facebook page might also know that the university's rebuttal was universally and immediately declared absolute proof that the university was 100% right and PeTA 100% wrong by the tiny outspoken minority of pro-vivisection nutters who usually turn out to have clear financial stakes in the continuance of animal experimentation.
The simple fact that the university claimed it was innocent was more than sufficient proof for them. (Proof seems generally to be a difficult concept for vivisectors.)
PeTA has responded to the university's defense and exposed the spin and misleading claims they made. It appears that the university inadvertently admitted to yet further violations in its quick off-hand rebuttal to PeTA's charges. This won't have been the first time I've seen them trip over their protestations if this turns out to be the case.
Whether or not PeTA's claims are found to be substantial and actionable is a decision that will be made by NIH and the USDA, not the university. This simple fact has upset a number of the university's and the industry's supporters who see no reason for third-party oversight of what happens in the labs. Too bad for them.
You can read PeTA's response to the university's rebuttal here: PETA Response to University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Claims about Cruel Sound Localization Experiments on Cats.