Posts Screwed into Cats' Skulls
An Animal Rights Article from


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
April 2014

[Also see ACTION ALERT from September 2012: Tell NIH to Stop Funding Cruel UW Experiment on Cats]

cats bolts vivisectionIn late March, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) was given a large fine by federal officials for seven separate violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including an incident of shocking negligence in which a gentle cat named Broc was so badly burned with a heating pad that she required surgery for her wounds—something discovered by federal inspectors during their investigation of a complaint filed by PETA.

More than a month after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) imposed the fine, cats like Broc are still living isolated in cages at the university—just as they have for as long as 12 years each. Countless sensitive, feeling animals like Broc who are used in cruel experiments need you and me to stop their suffering and win their freedom.

The misery revealed by PETA and federal authorities at the laboratory where Broc was held was horrendous. Cats underwent invasive surgeries on their ears, eyes, skull, and brain and had a post screwed to their skull used for immobilizing their heads. Some were starved for up to six days at a time by experimenters in order to coerce them into cooperating in exchange for a morsel of food.

cats bolts vivisectionIn a scathing report released after a complaint by PETA last year, a federal inspector with the USDA confirmed that all the cats whom PETA profiled as being part of UW's experiments had been "diagnosed with chronic infections" after having steel posts screwed into open wounds on their heads and metal coils implanted in their eyes. NJ, one of the cats used in the experiments, even had to have her eye removed after the metal coil attached to it became the site of frequent serious infections. In 2013, because of PETA's allegations and the public outcry that followed, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) took the rare step of suspending this experiment for six months and demanded that reforms be made.

For many experimenters, the fear of losing funding seems to take precedence over the misery of the animals on whom they conduct their barbaric tests. As disturbing as it is that cats like Broc continue to be held in a laboratory that was fined for her horrible mistreatment, it's equally troubling that they're tormented in a cruel, curiosity-driven experiment that isn't even aimed at improving human health—and never has been—even though it's received more than $3 million in taxpayer-funded support. The lead experimenter on the project recently admitted, "Our goal is not to produce a clinical treatment or a cure."

It took three years of intense pressure just to get UW to release the complete files that first brought to light the shocking suffering of Double Trouble, Broc, and other cats in this laboratory. Since the project began, dozens of cats like Broc—including Slinky, whose infected implant wounds led to her death—have been victims of the cruel and wasteful program. See Tell NIH to Stop Funding Cruel UW Experiment on Cats.

By donating online today, you'll be helping PETA push even harder for UW to stop the deadly experiments—and the NIH to stop funding them—and work toward a day when no animal suffers in painful and deadly experiments or anywhere else cruelty occurs.

Thank you for all that you do to help animals like Broc who are confined to laboratories.

Return to Animal Rights Articles