Bill Maher is an outspoken animal advocate, and has joined the fight against animal testing before. He’s called on NASA to halt plans to conduct radiation tests on monkeys, and asked Congress to end testing on chimpanzees.
Maher has now teamed up with PETA to spread the word about the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW)’s cruel testing on cats. The comedian and host of “Real Time with Bill Maher” recorded a voice message that the animal rights organization sent to UW students and faculty, the Board of Regents, and event Madison residents living near the school’s campus, according to Look to the Stars.
“Many things in life are funny, but cruelty to animals isn’t one of them. I want to make sure that you know about the terrible things done to cats right here at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.”
PETA reports on their website that UW’s taxpayer-funded testing involves the cats having “steel coils implanted in their eyes, holes drilled into their skulls, and electrodes implanted in their brains.” They add, “Sometimes, cats used in this experiment have had their ears cut off or are intentionally deafened by having a toxic chemical applied to their inner ear. The cats are then deprived of food for several days in order to coerce them to look in the direction of sounds during experimental sessions in which their heads are immobilized by a bolt screwed into their skulls.”
Maher, whose message was sent to more than 100,000 phone numbers in the Madison area, isn’t the only celeb to join in PETA’s campaign. Award-winning actor James Cromwell was arrested at UW in February for protesting at a Board of Regents meeting.
“It strikes me that it’s not the cats who need their heads examined, because being mean to animals isn’t just stupid—it’s wrong, especially when there are better options that are actually relevant to humans, as there are in this case,” says Maher.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released a report, following a PETA complaint, stating that UW “failed to take adequate steps to avoid the cats’ infected, open head wounds and to treat them and that UW’s justification for the use of cats and the number of cats used was inadequate.” The USDA has also found “rampant infections” in the cats. The NIH has suspended the university’s tests for six months while the school implements changes, reports PETA.
Watch the video and hear Bill Maher’s “call” to end UW’s tests on cats.