Campaign Updates: Deadly Tests on Owls at Johns Hopkins University
At a laboratory at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore, experimenter Shreesh Mysore cuts open barn owls’ skulls, screws metal devices onto their heads, restrains the birds, and bombards them for hours with noises and lights. PETA is waging a campaign to end these cruel and deadly experiments—and you can help.
Maryland State Sen. Ben Kramer Urges Federal, State, and JHU Officials to End Owl Tests
June 16, 2022
After PETA informed Maryland state Sen. Ben Kramer of the cruel, wasteful, and illegal activities conducted by Johns Hopkins University (JHU) owl experimenter Shreesh Mysore, the lawmaker sent powerful letters to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and JHU to demand an end to the torture tests on these sensitive birds.
Mysore—who from 2015 to 2018 failed to obtain mandatory permits to possess barn owls legally for use in his experiments and who admitted in his federal funding application his plan to kill the owls, even though doing so would void his legally required “Scientific Collecting” permits—has received more than $1.9 million in taxpayer money from NIH to mutilate owls’ brains.
Kramer asserts in his letters that Mysore is not exempt from Maryland law and should refund the taxpayer money he spent on illegal activities, be barred from receiving future federal funding for these experiments on owls, and have his current MD DNR permit revoked if he’s continuing to kill owls in his tests after that agency explicitly barred him from doing so on May 12, 2022.
VICTORY! JHU Owl Torturer Loses License to Kill for Cruel Experiments
June 9, 2022
After PETA wrote to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources inquiring how Shreesh Mysore has been allowed to kill owls in his Johns Hopkins University (JHU) laboratory—given that state law prohibits permit holders like him from killing wildlife—the agency has revoked Mysore’s current permit and issued a new one that forbids him from killing birds for his inhumane experiments. This should end his torment of birds at JHU! Read more about this significant development here.
PETA ‘Owls’ Flock to Johns Hopkins University Graduation
May 23, 2022
— PETA (@peta) May 24, 2022
Dozens of PETA “owls” confined to cages grabbed the attention of passersby attending a graduation ceremony at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)—raising awareness of and garnering support for an end to the cruel and invasive brain experiments conducted on sensitive barn owls by JHU experimenter Shreesh Mysore.
PETA Brings Screeching ‘Owls’ to JHU President’s Doorstep
April 6, 2022
🔊 PETA Owls are giving @JohnsHopkins President Ron Daniels a wake-up call 🔊
These screeches were recorded inside a campus lab where owls are tormented in useless experiments!
Take action to demand JHU President Ron Daniels end the cruel experiments NOW! https://t.co/vhwgXF21J8 pic.twitter.com/4DV3YimZcM
— PETA (@peta) April 7, 2022
PETA supporters mourned the victims of the torturous experiments on owls conducted by Johns Hopkins University experimenter Shreesh Mysore in a somber vigil at the residence of the school’s president, Ronald J. Daniels. In addition to placing flowers in a fence as a call for compassion toward the owls, protesters delivered the message that Daniels can’t ignore the screeches of the birds trapped in Mysore’s laboratory.
Trailblazing Lawsuit Rejected on Technicality: PETA Fights On For Owls
February 2, 2022
PETA’s campaign against deadly brain experiments at Johns Hopkins University. (JHU) and its efforts to represent animals in court will continue despite a Washington, D.C., federal court’s dismissal yesterday of PETA’s first-of-its-kind lawsuit for “lack of standing.” The court dismissed the constitutional lawsuit, not on its merits but on technical grounds, deciding that nonhuman animals are not considered “persons” and opining that PETA and others therefore do not have “next friend” standing—a decision that PETA says appeases trade groups that benefit from the exploitation of animals but is out of touch with current knowledge of who other animals are.
Read more about this speciesist decision here.
PETA ‘Spider’ Exposes the Web of Lies Woven at Johns Hopkins University
January 27, 2022
PETA’s 40-foot “spider” wound her web around Johns Hopkins University’s campus to expose the web of lies that the school is spinning around deadly and wasteful tests on owls conducted by experimenter Shreesh Mysore, who broke state law by failing to get a mandatory permit to use owls in his laboratory.
PETA to Maryland Governor: Demand Justice in Cruelty-to-Animals Complaint Against JHU Owl Experimenter
January 14, 2022
In the wake of federal charges brought against State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Marilyn Mosby—to whom PETA had sent a complaint last month to urge an investigation into and prosecution of Johns Hopkins University’s Shreesh Mysore, who conducts invasive brain experiments on captive barn owls—PETA sent a letter to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, appealing to him to intervene and demand justice for owls subjected to these appallingly crude, worthless, and apparently illegal experiments, which nearly half a million people have spoken out against. The experiments appear to violate Maryland’s cruelty-to-animals law and were conducted for years without the proper state permits.
PETA ‘Owl’ in Santa Hat Delivers Coal to JHU President Because of ‘Naughty’ Experiments
December 16, 2021
A PETA “owl” wearing a Santa hat had an important delivery for Johns Hopkins University President Ronald Daniels this holiday season. Because he’s not been nice this year—allowing experimenter Shreesh Mysore to conduct painful, invasive brain experiments on owls, even after he was caught cutting into birds’ skulls without mandatory state permits—Daniels received a wheelbarrow full of coal as a fitting Christmas gift.
— PETA (@peta) December 16, 2021
PETA Urges Criminal Investigation Into Crude Owl Experiments at JHU
December 8, 2021
PETA sent a letter to State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Marilyn Mosby, urging her office to investigate experimenter Shreesh Mysore’s invasive experiments on barn owls at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) for apparent violations of Maryland’s cruelty-to-animals law. PETA asserts that Mysore’s experiments should not be exempt from this statute since he failed to obtain valid state permits to possess the owls during the course of the experiments—which renders as invalid the approval for his owl experiments given by JHU’s Animal Care and Use Committee.
PETA Implores the JHU Community to Liberate Imprisoned Owls
November 16, 2021
PETA is sending out letters to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) staff and Baltimore residents, urging their support to “free the JHU owls”—a message engraved on two pennies that accompany the letter. The letter details how JHU experimenter Shreesh Mysore doesn’t give tuppence (a British expression meaning “couldn’t care less”) when it comes to the birds he mutilates and locks in a laboratory or the $1.9 million in public funds that his tests have squandered.
‘Evil Scientist’ Drills Into Skull of ‘Restrained Owl’ in PETA Protest of Cruel Experiments at JHU
November 3, 2021
PETA kept the pressure on Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and its experimenter Shreesh Mysore with a captivating protest on campus featuring an “evil scientist” drilling into the skull of a “restrained owl.” PETA is urging the National Institutes of Health to revoke all taxpayer funding for these horrific owl experiments that violated Maryland state law for years and is calling on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to deny Mysore and JHU any future permits to possess owls for use in experiments.
Ad in The Baltimore Sun Calls Out JHU Experimenter’s Illegal Owl Experiments
August 29, 2021
PETA put an eye-catching ad in Maryland’s largest newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, urging the public to demand that Johns Hopkins University experimenter Shreesh Mysore end his illogical, immoral, and illegal experiments on sensitive and intelligent barn owls.
‘Owls’ Protest at JHU Freshman Orientation Against Horrific Tests
August 26, 2021
While Johns Hopkins University (JHU) welcomes a new crop of first-year students, PETA seized the opportunity to raise awareness of the inhumane and illegal conduct of experimenter Shreesh Mysore and his fruitless experiments on barn owls.
During JHU’s new-student orientation, activists in owl masks stood alongside the Homewood campus. They were bound by restraints and had electrodes and wires protruding from their heads to depict the horrific plight of owls in Mysore’s laboratory.
PETA Slams Feds’ Arguments in Owl Constitutional Rights Lawsuit
August 12, 2021
PETA has filed a brief of more than 13,000 words in response to the federal government’s motion to dismiss our historic lawsuit to protect owls in laboratories.
In the suit, we argue that excluding the barn owls imprisoned at Johns Hopkins University—along with other birds, mice, and rats bred in labs—from the meager protections of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is an unconstitutional death sentence. In the brief filed today in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., we reiterate that the 2002 Helms Amendment, which deprived these animals of AWA protections, is a clear case of unconstitutional congressional vindictiveness toward a particular group. We also counter the government’s argument that nonhuman animals don’t enjoy these generally applicable legal rights, citing the fact that even corporations currently enjoy freedom from the exact type of constitutional harm at issue here.
PETA’s Letter to the Editor in The Baltimore Sun Urges JHU President to End the Owl Torture on Campus
July 8, 2021
Could the five-year extension of Johns Hopkins University (JHU) President Ronald Daniels’ contract mean further unchecked cruelty to majestic barn owls trapped in the school’s laboratories? JHU experimenter Shreesh Mysore has illegally captured owls for gruesome and wasteful brain experiments for years, while Daniels appears to have looked the other way. In response to Daniels’ newly extended term as president of JHU, PETA fired off a letter to the editor of The Baltimore Sun calling for him to cease immediately all “worthless and deadly experiments on animals.”
Student Wears Graduation Cap Urging Freedom for Owls at JHU as PETA Protests During Commencement
May 27, 2021
As students prepare to leave Johns Hopkins University (JHU) with diplomas in hand, Shreesh Mysore locks barn owls away to endure agonizing brain experiments before being killed. PETA demonstrated outside JHU’s graduation ceremony to pressure the university to end these cruel experiments, which don’t advance human health. Graduating senior Lana Weidgenant wore a cap decorated with the slogan “Free the JHU Owls” to show her support for PETA’s demands to shut the owl lab down.
UC-Davis Students and PETA Urge School to Cancel Owl Torturer’s Talk
May 20, 2021
Concerned students at the University of California–Davis sent a letter—in addition to a letter sent by PETA—to that school’s chair of neuroscience, urging the cancellation of a talk by Johns Hopkins University owl tormentor Shreesh Mysore. The letters call out the cruel and invasive experiments on owls that Mysore conducted illegally for years without the mandatory state permits and demand that UC-Davis replace his talk with a seminar on more effective, ethical, economical, non-animal research methods.
Maryland Confirms That Mysore’s Owl Tests Have Been Illegal for “Years”
May 5, 2021
JHU experimenter Shreesh Mysore apparently has as much contempt for the law as he does for his animal victims. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that the notorious experimenter repeatedly broke state law for “years” by failing to obtain the legally required permits to possess barn owls for invasive brain tests. PETA is demanding that the agency revoke Mysore’s current permit, that JHU shut down his owl laboratory, and that the National Institutes of Health recoup the tax money that it wasted on his hideous owl experiments and deny any future grant requests that he makes to conduct such archaic tests.
‘Owl’ Delivers Petitions to JHU Condemning Deadly Tests
April 7, 2021
Students are writing essays and studying hard for exams, but there’s one lesson that JHU President Ronald J. Daniels still needs to learn. PETA protesters, including one dressed as an owl, delivered a cart full of boxes containing petitions from more than 270,000 supporters urging Daniels to end Shreesh Mysore’s horrific brain experiments on owls at the university. This petition is a wakeup call that the public will not stand by as owls are tormented for junk science.
JHU Senior Condemns Cruel Owl Experiments on Campus
March 8, 2021
Spring break is fast approaching at Johns Hopkins University, but one student is speaking up for the victims of animal testing, who don’t get to leave campus for vacation. Senior Lana Weidgenant has penned a cutting rebuke of Shreesh Mysore’s notorious barn owl experiments at the university. Writing to the editor of the school’s student newspaper, The Johns Hopkins News-Letter, Weidgenant underscores Mysore’s waste of resources, poor scientific methodology, and apparent failure to attain legal permits to use owls in his laboratory. She succinctly concludes, “Hopkins should shut the owl lab down immediately.”
PETA Exposes Owl Tormentor’s Missing Permits, Calls For Ban
February 23, 2021
Shreesh Mysore may treat barn owls like unfeeling pieces of lab equipment, but they’re a protected species. So experimenters in Maryland must obtain permits to lock them in their laboratories. However, when PETA requested proof of Mysore’s permits through the state’s Freedom of Information Act, we discovered that the ones for 2015 through 2018 were missing. Apparently, neither Mysore nor anyone else in his lab had bothered to apply for or obtain them.
If experimenters can’t even bother to file simple paperwork with the state, they shouldn’t be allowed to conduct complex brain surgeries on live animals. Given this apparent flagrant violation of state law, we’ve sent a letter to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources urging it to revoke Mysore’s current permit to keep owls in his laboratory and to prohibit him from obtaining any permits in the future.
PETA Protesters in Owl Masks Hold a ‘Screech-In’ Against Johns Hopkins’ Owl Torture Experiments
January 25, 2021
On the first day of spring semester classes at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), a parliament of PETA protesters wearing owl masks came in for a (socially distanced) landing on campus to protest university experimenter Shreesh Mysore’s appallingly cruel, admittedly worthless, and apparently illegal brain experiments on barn owls. PETA also placed an eye-catching ad last week in The Washington Times calling on the National Eye Institute to stop funding the tests.
PETA Launches Ad in The Hill, Mobile Billboard Tours Campus, and Activists Hang Banner Over Highway to Call For End to Tests
December 8, 2020
Just in time for the end of Johns Hopkins University’s (JHU) fall semester, PETA has placed an eye-catching new ad in The Hill calling on the National Eye Institute to stop funding JHU’s gruesome and deadly brain experiments on barn owls. The same day (December 8), a mobile billboard circulated the ad around campus, blasting audio recordings of screeching owls taken inside a JHU laboratory. In addition, the next day, a group of PETA supporters wearing masks and practicing social distancing unfurled a gigantic banner from a highway overpass to demand that JHU end its cruel brain experiments on owls.
Ad in ‘The Johns Hopkins News-Letter’ Calls Out ‘Horrific’ Owl Experiments at JHU
November 13, 2020
To reach students who are learning online this semester, PETA has placed a new ad on the website of The Johns Hopkins News-Letter (the school’s student newspaper). The ad features the image of a parliament of owls shouting, “We object to torture!” at an image of JHU experimenter Shreesh Mysore, who is seen performing an invasive, cruel, and worthless brain experiment on an owl.
Johns Hopkins Official Faces Protest at His Home
October 20, 2020
Wearing masks and practicing social distancing, PETA supporters gathered in front of the home of JHU School of Medicine Dean Paul Rothman to demand that he shut down the worthless and apparently illegal experiments on owls being carried out on his watch.
‘Harry Potter’ Star Evanna Lynch Urges Johns Hopkins to Shut Down Owl Lab
October 19, 2020
Actor Evanna Lynch, best known as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series, sent a letter on PETA’s behalf calling on the president of Johns Hopkins University to end the school’s brain experiments on barn owls, writing, “There can be no ethical justification for this grotesque cruelty.”
PETA Files Federal and University Complaints: Mysore Apparently Violated Law, Admits Practice of Bolting Animals’ Skulls in His Tests is Flawed
October 1, 2020
In complaints filed today with the National Eye Institute and Johns Hopkins University, PETA points to a recent audio recording in which Shreesh Mysore acknowledges that experimenting on owls whose heads are surgically fixed in place could “change the way the brain is solving problems and we might misinterpret what’s happening, or misunderstand, if we do this in head-fixed animals.” Yet in his experiments, he attaches bolts to owls’ skulls in order to hold their heads in a fixed position in addition to locking the animals in restraining devices for up to 12 hours at a time, clamping their eyes open, and bombarding them with noises and lights.
PETA also notes in our letters that Mysore appears to have violated Maryland law in having failed from 2015 to 2018 to obtain a required permit to possess protected birds. Currently, 50 to 60 barn owls are slated to be used in his experiments, including six birds just for surgical practice for his staff.
PETA Calls For End to Cruel and Wasteful Tests As JHU’s Fall Semester Begins
August 31, 2020
PETA is kicking off the fall semester at Johns Hopkins University with a new ad placed on six bus shelters near campus calling for an end to the school’s gruesome and deadly brain experiments on barn owls. In addition, to reach students who are learning online this semester, PETA has placed the ad on the website of The Johns Hopkins News-Letter (the school’s student newspaper) as well as in The Baltimore Sun and on Facebook.
Citywide Ad Blitz Exposes Johns Hopkins’ Deadly Brain Tests on Owls
August 4, 2020
August 4 is International Owl Awareness Day, and PETA has launched a new ad blitz to raise awareness of the plight of the owls tormented in laboratories at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Our eye-opening full-page ad slamming the school’s cruel experiments will debut in The Baltimore Sun as well as on The Sun‘s website and on Facebook. Later this month, it will be posted on six bus shelters near JHU’s Baltimore campus. The ads will let Baltimore residents know how they can speak out against JHU’s junk-science brain experiments on owls, which cause immense suffering, squander taxpayer funds, and aren’t applicable to humans. Check out one version:
Johns Hopkins Owl Experimenter Faces Protest at Home
June 25, 2020
Drive-By Protest Rolls Into Mysore’s Neighborhood
May 21, 2020
Undeterred by social-distancing requirements in the age of COVID-19, activists staged a pandemic-safe protest to speak up for owls, driving cars emblazoned with the message “JHU, Modernize Your Research: Leave Owls Alone” through the neighborhoods of Mysore and JHU President Ronald Daniels. PETA also ran an eye-catching ad in The Baltimore Sun condemning Mysore’s crude owl experiments.
PETA Urges JHU to Cut Animal Experiments, Not Employee Benefits
May 11, 2020
As a result of the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, JHU announced that it would prepare for layoffs and suspend contributions to employees’ retirement plans. In a letter to the university’s president, PETA proposed a better solution for employees and animals—cut wasteful and cruel experiments on animals, starting with Mysore’s deadly tests on barn owls.
— PETA (@peta) May 13, 2020
PETA Exposes Agony for Monkeys and Other Animals in JHU Laboratories
March 18, 2020
PETA fired off a letter to JHU and released damning reports and photographs obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealing repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act, the only federal law to provide even meager protection for animals in laboratories. Monkeys were left to suffer from untreated medical conditions, and some were apparently driven by stress and a lack of stimulation to tear out their own hair.
PETA Calls BS on JHU’s Denial of COVID-19 Killing Spree
March 16, 2020
When JHU’s associate director of research animal resources, Eric Hutchinson, stated that “no mice or any other animals have been euthanized in an effort to conserve resources” at the school during the COVID-19 pandemic, PETA called his bluff—and urged the university to use this moment as an opportunity to end all of its cruel and ineffective animal experiments.
One monkey DIED after a lab worker slammed a cage door on them. The university is now on a #Coronavirus killing spree destroying who it considers “extraneous” animals.
@johnshopkins animal labs need to be shut down IMMEDIATELY before others die. https://t.co/9slkrXbTJz pic.twitter.com/LOlDxRoha8
— PETA (@peta) March 18, 2020
Ad in The Baltimore Sun Calls Out ‘Horrific’ Owl Experiments at JHU
December 17, 2019
“JHU Doesn’t Give Two Hoots About Animal Welfare,” announces PETA’s ad, which features the image of a majestic barn owl and ran online and in print in The Baltimore Sun, Maryland’s largest newspaper.
JHU Students and Others Demonstrate for Owls Still Suffering in Mysore’s Lab
December 6, 2019
Unfurling a banner calling for an end to experiments on animals at JHU, members of the school’s student group CARE and other local activists assembled at the entrance to campus to protest Mysore’s barbaric brain experiments on owls. Their unique polygon owl masks and bold signs grabbed the attention of passing motorists and pedestrians.
PETA Vice President Alka Chandna Takes Speaking Tour to JHU
October 24, 2019
Speaking as part of a symposium about animal-free testing methods held at JHU, PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Dr. Alka Chandna highlighted the various human-relevant, non-animal methods available to replace crude animal tests like Mysore’s brain experiments on owls.
Protesters Hit JHU Ahead of Owl Awareness Day
August 1, 2019
Owl Expert Stephen Jones Pens Letter to JHU President Ronald Daniels
July 13, 2019
“These practices sound more like something from the Inquisition than from the research laboratory of an esteemed university,” wrote Stephen Jones—a raptor specialist and wildlife consultant with the Boulder County Audubon Society in Colorado—of Mysore’s cruel, medieval-seeming experiments on owls.
PETA Scientist Slams Experimenter’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ for Owls in Op-Ed
June 27, 2019
In her op-ed in the Daily Caller, neuroscientist Dr. Katherine Roe decries the blatant cruelty and waste of Mysore’s barn owl experiments, which have raked in more than $1.3 million in taxpayer dollars for JHU but have produced no treatments or cures for people suffering from attention deficit disorders.
ROE: John Hopkins Experiments On Barn Owls In A Little Shop Of Horrors https://t.co/gyCrHurQBT
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 28, 2019
‘Owls’ Flock Outside Experimenter Shreesh Mysore’s Office to Protest His Experiments
June 26, 2019
Wearing owl masks and blasting audio recordings of screeching owls taken inside a JHU laboratory, PETA supporters gathered outside Mysore’s office to call for an end to his abuse of owls.
Ad Starring a Teddy Bear Blasts Animal Experiments in Baltimore
November 14, 2018
PETA’s nongraphic, Telly Award–winning ad—which features an unfortunate teddy bear who is strapped down, injected with chemicals, cut open, and killed like thousands of real animals in laboratories every day—ran on TV in Baltimore, Mysore’s home turf.
PETA Reveals Torment of Barn Owls in a JHU Laboratory
October 30, 2018
Funded by millions of dollars from JHU and unwitting taxpayers, experimenter Mysore cuts into the skulls of barn owls, inserts electrodes into their brains, forces them to look at screens for hours a day, and bombards them with noises and lights in tests that are irrelevant for human health.