Tell NSF to Kill the Money Flow to LSU Experimenter—Before She Kills More Birds

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Louisiana State University (LSU) experimenter Christine Lattin’s grim practice of terrorizing and killing wild birds in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has taken another disturbing turn. We need your help to shut it down.

In her latest round of experiments, Lattin plans to inject house sparrows’ brains with chemicals that temporarily inactivate a portion of the brain. She’ll expose the brain-damaged animals to unfamiliar objects—in the past, she’s used blinking lights, pipe cleaners, plastic eggs, bells, pink puffs, and cocktail umbrellas—that may frighten them, just to see how they react. When she’s done, she’ll kill them and chop up their brains.

Lattin asserts that her cruelty masquerading as “science” will yield useful information about how animals respond to stressors in their environment—but stress responses differ substantially even between species of birds, let alone among other animals. She aims to study the natural responses of wild sparrows, but she subjects the birds to an unnatural and severely stressful captive environment for weeks or even months—inducing potentially confounding behavioral and physiological changes.

She lures her victims to bird feeders, ensnares them in mist nets, and hauls them back to her laboratory, where these social animals are often caged alone. She’ll kill every bird she traps and imprisons in her laboratory.

Lattin has carried out a similar “kidnap, imprison, torment, and kill” routine with past victims of her experiments testing neophobia, or fear of new things. She deprived birds of food for up to 15 hours to make them desperate enough to approach an unfamiliar object—like a blinking light or an opened blue cocktail umbrella—in order to reach their food dish. Despite their hunger, many of the birds were hesitant to eat.

Inexplicably, Lattin’s shoddy science and even worse ethics have earned her a U.S. taxpayer–funded grant of $1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Please take action below and tell NSF to stop wasting taxpayer money on her hideous and deadly experiments.

Dr. Sethuraman
National Science Foundation

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