COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Phones at Texas A&M University rang all morning with the same recorded message from PETA: end the school's muscular dystrophy experiments on dogs.
In a press release, the animal rights organization stated that more than 5,000 staff members were called Monday morning. The message was recorded by actress Lily Tomlin. It asked for the listener to call Texas A&M President Michael K. Young and tell him to stop the experiments.
"Texas A&M deliberately breeds golden retrievers and other dogs to have a debilitating form of canine muscular dystrophy …[and many] of these dogs suffer premature and agonizing deaths," Tomlin said in the recording. "Others endure lives of misery and struggle to swallow and even breathe."
Texas A&M has defended its medical research involving dogs. In the past, the university has said that the dogs "who are already affected by this disease, are treated with the utmost respect and exceptional care on site by board-certified veterinarians and highly trained staff. The care team is further subject to scientific oversight by agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, among other regulatory bodies."
Texas A&M said the facility built for this research is state-of-the-art. Their work is shared not only nationally but globally with the goal of finding a cure for this dreadful disease, DMD, in both children and dogs worldwide.
KBTX has done several stories about PETA's efforts to shut down the dog labs. PETA has held demonstrations near the A&M campus in College Station, at Texas A&M University System Board of Regents meetings and during the most recent graduation ceremony.