The CDC’s Rampant Negligence Continues—Animals Steamed to Death, Starved, and More

Published by Elena Waldman.

After uncovering documents revealing appalling negligence at the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which led to the suffering and deaths of more than 400 mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, monkeys, and others, PETA is calling for the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International to revoke the CDC’s accreditation. The organization’s accreditation program represents the bare minimum standards for animal care—which the CDC clearly fails to meet.Mice rescued at Mass. SPCA© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

The CDC is entrusted with the health of our nation, particularly now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, but apparently, it can’t even be trusted to follow the most minimal of animal welfare guidelines.

These are just a few examples from the extensive list of incidents at CDC Atlanta and Fort Collins between November 2017 and April 2021 that show a pattern of outright carelessness and utter disregard for animal welfare:

  • A mouse was steamed to death after a staff member failed to notice that the animal was still inside a cage before it was placed in a sterilizing machine.
  • A mouse trapped in a food dispenser died from dehydration after staff failed to notice the animal’s plight. Four mice were left without food, and one starved to death.
  • Several rats died after staff members administered the wrong dose of anesthesia.
  • A prairie dog had to be euthanized after staff members failed to notice for a week that the animal had sustained wounds in a fight, lost weight, and developed sepsis.
  • Fifty-five chicks died—five of them likely from starvation—in two separate incidents after staff members placed eggs inside incubators instead of refrigerators.
  • Forty-two mice were left without oxygen and four of them died because staff members failed to plug their cages into an air supply.
  • Multiple guinea pigs didn’t have access to water for 48 hours because staff failed to notice that a water dispenser was defective. One of the animals had to be euthanized.
  • A vaginal ring was implanted into a female monkey and left there for nearly three years instead of the intended 14 days because staff members failed to find the ring and simply assumed that the monkey had removed it herself. After almost three years, a mass was detected in her body, where the ring was “partially encased in a mineral-like substance.”

The CDC Has Gotten Away With Its Blatant Disregard for Animal Well-Being for Years

These are just some of the incidents—which are apparently nothing new for the CDC. In 2005, its accreditation was put on probationary status for a host of problems, including blatant negligence that left six monkeys dead. Sixteen years later, it looks as though nothing has changed. It’s clear that the only way to protect animals is not to use them in laboratories at all.

Help Animals Suffering in Laboratories—Support PETA’s New Deal!

It doesn’t matter if a laboratory is accredited or not—there is no humane way to use animals, who have families, emotions, and interests of their own, for experimentation. That’s why PETA’s Research Modernization Deal outlines a plan to replace animals used in experiments with humane, forward-thinking research methods. Help us spare animals suffering in labs:

Support peta’s research modernization deal

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind