On the busy intersection of Southwest 13th Street and West University Avenue sits a display organized by the national organization PETA calling out universities for experiments where animals are harmed.
Discussions about animal welfare in research can tend to evoke strident and forceful opposing positions, as highlighted by this story and the public commentary the display generated. What is needed is calm and open discussion, based on the principles of transparency, respect, empathy and respect.
The University of Florida is not exempt from the experiments conducted on animals. In fact, it is PETA’s target.
In 2020, university experimenters reported cutting open cats’ necks and chests, as the animals were forced to inhale carbon dioxide, causing brain damage. Reports shows that UF researchers have previously forced rats to inhale smoke from 72 cigarettes before inducing withdrawal symptoms. In other instances, researchers injected viruses into the skulls of mice before decapitating them.