Cruelty Reigns at U. of Minnesota: Rogue Surgeries, Amputations, Death

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Update (May 19, 2022): PETA has filed a complaint with the Hennepin County prosecuting attorney demanding an investigation into continuing cruelty at the University of Minnesota (UMN) after finding that experimenters failed to give pain relief to nearly 700 pigs, hamsters, mice, and rats used in painful and invasive procedures. The discovery is further evidence of a vile pattern of violations of federal animal welfare guidelines—and likely state animal protection laws, too—that continues unabated at the university.

PETA found federal records showing more than 50 violations of animal welfare guidelines in UMN laboratories between January 2018 and February 2022—that’s an average of two violations every month.

We’ve also written to the UMN administration, demanding that the taxpayer-funded school clean up its act immediately.

mobster tormenting mouse

Originally posted on March 8, 2022:

After uncovering chronic and serious federal animal welfare violations in University of Minnesota (UMN) laboratories—including failing to supply adequate pain relief to nearly 700 animals used in painful and invasive procedures—PETA urged UMN President Joan T.A. Gabel to prohibit staff who fail to comply with animal welfare regulations or directives given by veterinary staff from having any contact with animals. Federal records obtained by PETA reveal 47 violations between January 2018 and September 2021.

The records show that University of Minnesota employees’ negligence resulted in the starvation, dehydration, and deaths of numerous animals. These are among the violations:

  • Two mice were scalded to death when they were left in a cage that was sent through a high-temperature cage steamer used for sterilization.
  • Four monkeys’ water was severely restricted—against protocol.
  • Mice weren’t fed for four days, necessitating emergency veterinary care.
  • On two occasions, monkeys were locked in one quadrant of a cage for up to 15 hours because employees hadn’t removed and secured the cage dividers.
  • A mouse was discovered alive in a euthanasia bag.
  • Experimenters performed unapproved tail amputations on 151 mice.

university of minnesota animal welfare violations exposed

Despite these violations, UMN received more than $336 million in taxpayer money from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) last year.

“Steaming animals to death and starving them for days at a time is evidence that many working in UMN’s laboratories need to be fired. PETA is calling on UMN’s president to boot the violators from all animal laboratories permanently and replace animal experiments with modern, human-relevant research methods.”

PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo

What You Can Do for Animals Suffering in Labs

Numerous published studies have shown that animal experimentation wastes resources and lives, as 95% of new medications that are found to be effective in animals go on to fail or cause harm in human clinical trials. Yet the biggest funder of research in the U.S., NIH, spends nearly half its annual budget on animal studies. That’s $19.6 billion down the drain in 2021 alone.

PETA scientists’ Research Modernization Deal outlines a road map and strategy for optimizing our nation’s investment in research to cure disease—by ending funding for strategies that don’t work (i.e., experiments on animals) and investing in research that’s relevant to humans.

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