People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a formal complaint Tuesday with the University of Colorado's animal experimentation oversight committee, urging the campus to replace classroom experiments that involve creatures with computer simulations.
The organization also launched an online petition asking CU to stop "abusing animals in classroom labs."
But CU's veterinarian, Albert Petkus, says PETA's claims against the university are severely exaggerated. For example, an experiment that PETA says involves fighting fish never puts the fish in the same tank, and the Betta fish used in the experiment are adopted afterward by students in the class, Petkus said.
PETA says that in a psychology experiment, students force rats to swim in water mazes to the point of exhaustion and despair. But Petkus refutes that claim as well, saying the rats have access to pedestals, and if they don't find the platforms within 60 seconds they are picked up and placed on them.