A lawsuit filed this week by the Washington-based watchdog group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine might put a stop to horrific animal cruelty that allegedly has been going on at Texas A&M University since 1997. According to PCRM, researchers at Texas A&M -- renowned for its impressive veterinary program -- have been conducting an experiment in which live, pregnant sheep are injected with massive quantities of alcohol to simulate the effects of binge drinking, only to be euthanized so that the lamb fetuses can be removed and have their brains dissected. Scientists reportedly boosted the sheeps' blood alcohol content to levels between 0.20 and 0.26, although the legal maximum limit in Texas is 0.08.
Researchers claim that the study will provide new insights into how humans experience fetal alcohol syndrome, which PCRM contends is simply not the case. "That paradigm of using animals to study human diseases has failed," John Pippin, PCRM's director of academic affairs, said in a statement. "Using dogs to look at heart disease, mice for cancer, you can go through any of these and see a long history of animal research with little result ... We have found nothing that has advanced medical knowledge of fetal alcohol syndrome in women."
Pippin, a former animal researcher, believes that Texas A&M is simply continuing with the study because they have the money to do so. The project has received over $5 million in federal grant money, despite producing no new information on the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome in 17 years.
To help put a stop to what PCRM sees as wasteful spending, the organization is even calling on one of its biggest opponents -- Senator Ted Cruz -- to join their fight. Though not exactly an animal welfare advocate, Cruz is undeniably influential. "Some say that Ted Cruz shut down the entire government," Pippin said, "and if he can do that, he can shut down these wasteful experiments in his own state."
If you live in Texas and want to put a stop to A&M's cruel experiment, you can contact Ted Cruz yourself.