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PETA launches campaign over rats and frogs in UC Irvine class

September 25, 2008 |  1:55 pm

Think the days of freaking out over animal dissection are over? Think again. The Orange County Register reports on some goings-on at UC Irvine:

IRVINE -– Animal-rights activists have launched an e-mail campaign aimed at UCI, where they say biology students are forced to pour poison into live rats' brains and cut up living frogs for study.

One day after launching the national campaign, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says 2,000 e-mails have already been sent to University of California, Irvine asking the campus to switch to a computer simulation.

PETA spokesman Justin Goodman said his group contacted UCI after a student complained in July that she was ordered to poison a rat in her biology class, or flunk the lesson.

"According to the student whistleblower, students drill into the heads of healthy rats and drop in poison to damage their brains, and then they staple that the rats' heads closed," a PETA statement reads. "After two weeks, the students poke the rats with blunt sticks in a crude attempt to gauge the brain damage the rats have suffered."

But James Hicks, who heads an oversight committee at UCI, said PETA was not accurately describing how the animals were being treated, and wrongly using inflammatory words like "whistleblower" to portray classroom instruction that had been properly reviewed and approved by campus officials.

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