Comedian and host of HBO’s “Real Time” Bill Maher made an impassioned plea for an end to experiments on dogs at Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University (TAMU) that he views as cruel and inhumane.
These dogs, he said, are afflicted with canine muscular dystrophy.
“That’s right,” Maher said, Dr. Joe Kornegay is “making dogs sick with a debilitating and incurable disease that ravages their bones and bodies on purpose. The dogs struggle to walk as their muscles weaken and waste away. Puppies that would normally be running and playing and digging up rose bushes become completely crippled before they reach six months old.”
Kornegay’s research is aimed at finding treatment and possible cures for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. According to his group’s website, the National Center for Canine Models of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (NCDMD), “For the past 25 years, Dr. Kornegay has studied a spontaneous canine disease termed golden retriever muscular dystrophy (GRMD), which serves as an animal model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) of humans. Both conditions are X-linked, occurring due to mutations in the dystrophin gene.”
Through his work with canines, Kornegay is attempting to improve life for the 1 out of every 3,500 males born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy — the disease does not affect female children.
Maher said, however, that the dogs in Kornegay’s experiments live in a misery that seems to combine Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist with The Island of Doctor Moreau.
“These miserable dogs sometimes spend years confined all alone to cold, barren metal kennels. They are denied even the small comfort of a blanket,” he said. “There’s no question that a cure for this terrible disease must be found, but this is not the way to do it.”
“Despite decades of torturing dogs, Kornegay has failed to produce a cure or even a treatment for muscular dystrophy. This shouldn’t be happening,” said Maher.
While Maher is a longtime advocate for animal rights, this is one of his most outspoken statements to date. His video message was sponsored by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Watch the video, embedded below: