Utah State University Is Tormenting Rats—Help Us Save Them

UN LAB Middleware Label: Title Ends

Another university is conducting terrible, useless experiments on animals.


What’s Going On?

This time, the school is Utah State University (USU). An undergraduate psychology course is making students lock rats in metal boxes for nearly an hour and blasting them with bursts of bright light. Students are told to “train” the rats to push a lever for food while being flooded with the disorienting stimuli. Rats are smart animals who can experience intense emotions. Help us prevent them from being harassed in this cruel experiment.

USU says the test teaches students about “fundamental behavioral processes under laboratory conditions” in humans and other animals. We shouldn’t have to explain this to a university: Rats aren’t humans. 🤦

The experiments last for nearly an hour and involve locking pigeons—or now, rats—inside barren metal boxes, where they’re blasted with random bursts of bright light while being trained to push a lever in order to receive food pellets. Although an “online rat simulator” had been used for this course in the past, USU took a giant step backwards, deciding to torment animals instead. Recent university records indicate that this course has been approved through 2026, and as many as 68 rats may have already been exploited.

Rats are clever and extremely affectionate with their loved ones. Mother rats dip their paws in cool water and gently wash the faces of their babies, who wrap their arms around their mom’s neck. 😍 These profound connections are shattered when rats are taken from their families and used in worthless experiments.

Is There Another Way?

Studies show that most psychologists and psychology students don’t want undergraduate psychology courses to require live-animal experimentation.

Messing with animals’ minds and well-being for this course is unacceptable and unnecessary. Many cost-effective, engaging, and educational animal-free simulators can teach students the course objectives, and compassionate field research opportunities can allow students to observe animals in their natural habitats. Here are just a few examples that other universities use:

How Can You Help Rats?

Rats should be free to be with their loved ones and enjoy their deeply emotional lives, not be exploited in experiments. You can help prevent rats from being abused by sending a polite letter urging to the school to replace all use of animals in PSY 3400 with superior, animal-free teaching methods. No student should be required to psychologically torment anyone to get an A in psychology. Fax.

Utah State U
Wagner Ph.D.
Utah State U

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