10 Torture Devices That Are Being Used on Animals Right Now

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Posted October 28, 2015 by Lily Trahan

Halloween is hands-down the best time of the year. The crisp autumn weather, costumes, pumpkins, hayrides, and scary-movie nights … how can anyone not love it?! Speaking of scary movies, while Halloween may be full of creepy make-believe for humans, true horror is a REALITY for animals in laboratories—now and every day.

The devices below might seem like they’re straight out of a horror film, but they’re actually being used in disturbing and painful experiments on animals in laboratories across the country right now:

1. Rodent Guillotines

Tens of millions of mice and rats are killed each year in U.S. laboratories after they’re used in cruel experiments in which they’re poisoned, electro-shocked, cut open in experimental surgeries, burned, or infected with disease. Experimenters commonly use rodent guillotines to cut off the heads of these small, sensitive animals while they’re still alive.

2. Stereotaxic Devices

Imagine having your whole body, including your head, held entirely motionless in a stainless-steel, vise-like contraption. Using a stereotaxic device, experimenters restrain mice, rats, cats, dogs, monkeys, and other animals, often while they’re fully conscious. OUCHHH!

3. Restraint Chairs


Restraint chairs are used by experimenters to hold monkeys in a seated or an upright position—for hours at a time—with rope-like attachments around their neck and waist. Monkeys suffer from extreme emotional stress and painful physical injuries and cuts or other wounds to their limbs.

These animals are sometimes locked into restraint chairs as part of training exercises—after being electrically shocked or deprived of water for hours, they’ll “cooperate” with the experimenters to avoid additional painful shocks or in exchange for a few drops of water.

4. Metzenbaum Scissors

Nearly 66,000 dogs are tormented every year in U.S. laboratories. In some, experimenters who are tired of hearing the barking of agonized dogs will use these scissors to sever their vocal cords, eliminating the noise but not the animals’ distress. Animals in laboratories are locked inside cages, powerless to exercise any control over their lives, and when dogs are “debarked,” they lose even the power to express their anguish.

5. Carbon Dioxide Chambers

These gas chambers subject mice, rats, and other animals to a terrifying death once they’re no longer useful to experimenters. Carbon dioxide gassing is used to kill tens of millions of rats and mice in laboratories every year, even though exposure to high concentrations of carbon dioxide can cause extreme burning pain in their nose, throat, and chest. At a certain level, mice and rats experience difficulty breathing and a sensation that feels like conscious drowning. L

6. Shuttle Boxes and Shock Plates.


Experimenters force dogs, mice, rats, and other animals are forced into or onto these small electrified boxes and plates in psychological experiments where they’re repeatedly shocked in order to make them hopeless, terrified, and depressed. These nightmarish experiments can go on for days or even weeks—subjecting these animals to hundreds of painful electrical shocks

7. Forced Swim Tank

Like shuttle boxes and shock plates, forced swim tanks are designed to make mice and rats anxious and depressed. Experimenters force these animals into small beakers or large pools with a concealed depth. The animals are then forced to swim for their lives and are only plucked from the water once they give up, become resigned to death, and begin to drown.

7. Restraint Tubes


Experimenters shove mice, rats, and even monkeys are shoved into these narrow hard-plastic tubes in which they are completely frozen in place and remain helplessly bound as experimenters roughly force needles into their tails and legs or force them to inhale chemicals, adding to their terror.

9. Electroejaculation Devices

rectal-probe-602x159©2003 Valle et al

Experimenters force these crude and invasive probes—like this one used on howler monkeys—into the anuses of rats, mice, monkeys, and other animals as they run electrical currents through their bodies, forcing them to ejaculate. GROSS.

10.  Collars and Poles

original_monkey_training-300x358-251x300Primate Products, Inc.

In laboratories, many monkeys have a tight-fitting metal collar permanently affixed around their necks. When these animals need to be moved, experimenters attach a long metal pole to the collar and violently lift them up. Suspended by their necks, these terrified monkeys are yanked from their cages and slammed into a restraint chair or a transport cage or onto an examination table.

Despite the high level of stress and potential for injury associated with these devices, the use of collars and poles, which are manufactured and sold by large primate dealers such as Primate Products, Inc., is still common in laboratories across the U.S.

What You Can Do:

Fortunately, there IS a way to help animals who suffer from experimenter’s torture devices. For years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has conducted cruel and irrelevant psychological experiments on baby monkeys, terrorizing them, and wasting millions of your and your parents’ tax dollars each year. We can help stop it! 

Tell NIH to stop cruel, unnecessary experiments now!

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