Porn star tells university to stop skinning rodents' penises for sex experiments

Ron Jeremy - nicknamed "the hedgehog" - said despite it taking a lot to shock him, as "an expert on sex", he was "appalled" by the sexual behaviour experiments carried out by US universities on rodents

Ron Jeremy, one of the most successful male porn stars of all time, has joined Peta in calling on the US National Institute of Health to stop funding sexual-behavior experiments on animals.

One of the experiments cited, carried out by Johns Hopkins university to research erectile dysfunction, allegedly features anesthetized rats having their penises skinned, electrically stimulated, injected with chemicals, then having tissue removed and frozen.

In an open letter addressed to NIH director Francis Collins, Mr Jeremy - who has been nicknamed the hedgehog - writes: "As you can imagine, it takes a lot to shock me, but my friends at PETA managed to pull it off recently when they told me that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is spending millions of dollars each year on sick sexual-behavior experiments on animals."

He added: "When people across the country are struggling to meet rising health-care costs, why is the NIH putting up millions of dollars to fund hard-ons for rodents?"

"I consider myself to be a bit of an expert on sex - I've got more than 1,700 movies to prove it - and I know how important it is to have and enjoy it. But I don't know a single person who's OK with cutting up live animals' genitals for any reason."

Following Peta’s initial campaign earlier this year, Johns Hopkins university said in a statement that its researchers "take the care of our laboratory rodents seriously" and follow strict rules to ensure humane treatment.

Kim Hoppe, a Hopkins spokeswoman, told the Baltimore Sun that the research also "involves investigating ways to improve outcomes from surgery for prostate cancer".

Almost half of NIH funding reportedly goes toward studies involving animal research, but the agency is said to be looking into limits on animal testing.

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