The University of California–Berkeley is thought to be a progressive haven where students can get the most out of public education. But its treatment of animals imprisoned in its laboratories is straight out of the dark ages. PETA recently obtained federal documents via a Freedom of Information Act request, uncovering shocking violations of federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) guidelines in the school’s laboratories. We are demanding an investigation into the following:
- The university failed to ensure the safety of a young monkey who suffocated and died after their neck became entangled in a loop of chain.
- Two guinea pigs died after experimenters erroneously administered an overdose of medicated eye drops during surgery.
- A monkey who had been subjected to experimental brain surgery was given expired painkillers.
UC-Berkeley hasn’t been cited for these blatant violations of the AWA. So we’ve filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), urging the agency to investigate the school before its culture of callousness causes more suffering and death for animals.
The records show that experimenters allowed at least 30 mice to grow tumors so large that they exceeded the university’s size limits to ensure some modicum of humane treatment, seven young mice were found alive in a freezer intended for dead animals, and four mice were found in cages stacked and ready to go through the high-temperature cage washer.
History of Cruelty at UC-Berkeley Needs to Be Investigated
In our letter to the USDA, PETA notes that UC-Berkeley has a long history of chronic and systemic violations of the AWA:
- A monkey was put on severe water restriction for an entire month, against approved protocol.
- Two bats died when they were left inside a transport enclosure and weren’t discovered until the following week.
- A bat in the school’s laboratory was found dead in an enclosure and disposed of by a student before veterinarians could determine a cause of death.
- Another bat was injured during a monthly colony catch and was unable to fly.
- In August 2013, the USDA fined the university for failing to supply water to five voles who consequently died of dehydration.
How You Can Help Monkeys Suffering in Laboratories
In laboratories, monkeys, like the one who strangled at UC-Berkeley, endure lives of extreme deprivation punctuated by torment. Their use as “models” for human disease has been a total failure in advancing human health. Yet the National Institutes of Health continues to squander tens of millions of taxpayer dollars every year on seven national primate research centers (NPRC).
In 2015, after intense pressure from PETA, Harvard University’s New England Primate Research Center was closed. Now help us get all the remaining NPRCs shut down: