PETA Presents Mars With 5,000 Sweet Lovers’ Petitions Against Animal Testing

For Immediate Release:
15 July 2008

Sam Glover 0207 357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]
Alistair Currie 0207 357 9229, ext 245; [email protected]

Basingstoke, Hampshire – This morning, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent more than 5,000 petition slips to Fiona Dawson, the managing director of the UK snackfoods branch of US-based Mars, Inc. The slips were signed by members of the public who have pledged not to buy the company’s products until it stops testing on animals. Mars in the US has funded painful and deadly tests on mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits – even though such experiments are not required by law and violate Mars’ own written policy. PETA is asking shoppers to stay away from M&M’s, Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, Starburst, Skittles and other Mars products until Mars commits to a permanent international ban on conducting and funding tests on animals.

PETA points out that Mars’ main competitor in the US, Hershey’s, does not test on animals and has signed a statement of assurance that it will not do so in the future. In a letter accompanying the petitions, PETA urges Dawson to forward the slips to Mars President Paul Michaels in the US, and PETA asks Dawson if similar tests are being conducted in the UK. PETA US discovered that the following are just some of the tests which Mars has funded or conducted:

Rabbits were forced to eat high-cholesterol diets with cocoa. Later, the animals were killed, and the primary blood vessels connected to their hearts were removed and examined.

Rats were force-fed through plastic tubes, which were shoved down their throats. Then the rats were cut open and killed.

Plastic tubes were surgically attached to guinea pigs’ carotid arteries, and cocoa ingredients were injected into their jugular veins.

Mice were forced to swim in a pool of water and paint. To avoid drowning, they had to find a hidden platform – only to be killed later.

“No chocolate bar in the world is worth making animals suffer and die”, says Alistair Currie, PETA’s senior research and campaigns coordinator. “People can easily switch brands because other sweet companies aren’t torturing animals.”

Mars produces drinks and drink machines in Basingstoke. PETA’s letter to Mars UK is available upon request. For more information, please visit