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        Texas A&M Violates Dogs’ Right to Live Freely, PETA’s Right to Speak Up for Them

        Published by Katherine Sullivan.

        From censoring Facebook and YouTube comments to banning a man with muscular dystrophy (MD) from campus to now refusing to run an advertisement showing a dog in its laboratory, Texas A&M University (TAMU) has shown that it will go to just about any length to silence animal rights activists who want to help dogs suffering on the school’s campus. But we have a First Amendment right to speak up for these dogs, which is why we’re suing TAMU—again—for censoring free speech.

        Texas A&M Peony dog lab bus ad

        Yesterday, we filed a federal lawsuit against Shane Hinckley, vice president of brand development at TAMU, challenging his refusal to allow PETA to place the ad above—which shows Peony, a dog used in the school’s canine MD experiments, and the prompt “Imagine having your body left to science while you’re still in it“—on TAMU buses.

        Hinckley claimed that the ad violated TAMU’s advertising standards, which prohibit ads that contain “political campaigns and viewpoints or endorsements,” but our ad contains none of these—opposing cruelty to dogs isn’t a run for political office. So we’re asking the court to order TAMU to accept and display the ad and to declare that TAMU’s policy prohibiting “political” advertisements is vague and discriminates against PETA’s viewpoint in violation of the First Amendment.

        We previously filed two First Amendment lawsuits challenging TAMU’s deletion of comments about the dog laboratory on its official Facebook page and other social media sites. We prevailed in the first lawsuit, and the second is pending.

        If TAMU would just shut down its canine MD dog laboratory, it could salvage what’s left of its image—rather than repeatedly violating the First Amendment in a futile attempt to save face.

        Of course, TAMU is grasping at straws to avoid displaying our ad. Peony was one of the many dogs at the university deliberately bred to develop a crippling and painful form of canine?MD that left them?struggling to walk, swallow, and even breathe. She was subjected to painful surgeries and was regularly soaked in the drool caused by her enlarged tongue. She was euthanized at 22 months old. TAMU sanctioned all this suffering.

        MD experiments on dogs have gone on for 40 years without producing a cure for MD in humans. Under pressure from our supporters,?500 physicians, and humans with MD, TAMU stopped breeding dogs to develop the disease. The lead experimenter has retired, and many of the nearly 100 dogs?have been adopted?into homes—but the laboratory still keeps?25?dogs imprisoned there.

        We’ve repeatedly offered to take all the dogs still imprisoned by TAMU and place them in good homes.?So what’s the holdup??Click below to join us in?demanding action from the school:

        Urge Texas A&M Board to Empty the Dog Lab

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        “Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

        — Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind