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The animal rights group PETA has claimed a legal victory in their efforts to expose the suffering inflicted on birds by experimenters from Louisiana State University (LSU). On 11th January 2022, the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge ruled that LSU must give PETA all the records that the animal rights group had requested related to Christine Lattin’s experiments on sparrows conducted for this American university. 

PETA filed the lawsuit in December 2020 against the LSU Board of Supervisors and Thomas Galligan, individually and in his capacity as then-president of LSU, as the school’s designated records custodian under Louisiana law. This lawsuit came about when the university refused to release public documents, such as veterinary records and videos, about Lattin’s research.  She is an Assistant Professor whose research focuses on animal’s neurotransmitters and hormones. Her experiments on sparrows involve trapping them, pumping them with sex hormones, exposing them to predators’ calls, and then killing them. 

Dr Alka Chandna, PETA Vice President, said: “LSU was happy to spend tax dollars on killing birds, but it fought tooth and nail against releasing videos of their torment…With these records in hand, PETA looks forward to showing the public exactly how small birds live and die for Christine Lattin’s pointless experiments.”

Lattin has been conducting harmful experiments on sparrows since 2008, from which she received more than $117,000 from the Louisiana Board of Regents.  PETA claims she killed 184 wild-caught sparrows over a three-year span that began in June 2019. Considering how much we can learn from the sparrows’ lives by just observing them in the wild in a non-intrusive way, it beggars belief how the university allowed her experiments. Presumably, the university has an ethical protocol to prevent unnecessary invasive experimentation on animals, but it appears that they may have a very self-serving narrow and antiquated notion of what ethics mean.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.