PETA files cease and desist against CSU

Ceci Taylor

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a cease and desist letter to Colorado State University asking the institution to stop deleting and hiding comments or posts that criticize its experiments on birds.

PETA said the action of deleting comments from its official Facebook page is a violation of free speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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According to a press release, CSU hid or deleted posts and comments made by PETA and its supporters in September and October. These posts were criticizing the CSU laboratory where crows, robins and sparrows, who were captured from their natural homes, were infected with West Nile virus and killed.

“CSU knows that it can’t possibly defend infecting birds with West Nile virus in these cruel experiments, so it has resorted to silencing critics,” PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo wrote in a press release. “PETA will consider legal action to restore the First Amendment right to speak out against these inhumane, pointless experiments.”

During these experiments, birds infected with West Nile virus may develop a fever and anorexia and may have difficulty controlling body movements; some species, including crows, may also experience infection, which is then followed by multiple organ failure and death, according to PETA.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife responded to a PETA complaint and cited and fined experimenter Gregory Ebel. Ebel’s license was suspended after he trapped 37 American crows without a permit. 

This case is also similar to a lawsuit PETA filed in 2018 against Texas A&M University for its removal of posts critical of experiments on dogs from its Facebook page.

PETA is an organization against speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. The motto on its website reads “animals are not ours to experiment on.” For more information, visit PETA.org.

Ceci Taylor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @cecelia_twt.