Pitt Racks Up 50 Animal-Protection Law Violations

Published by PETA.

On the heels of PETA’s shocking eyewitness investigation of the animal laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), federal records reveal dozens of incidents of neglect, incompetence, and sheer cruelty that resulted in misery and death for hundreds of animals.

Pitt received nearly half a billion dollars in grants in 2016 alone, and an estimated 50 percent of it paid for experiments on animals. As a condition of the grants, the school is required to comply with federal animal-welfare guidelines—but Pitt violated these guidelines more than 50 times between January 2015 and April 2017.

u of pitt, university of pittsburgh, investigation, laboratory, rabbit

Experimenter Sandeep Kathju cut ligaments in rabbits’ knees, contorted their legs, and inserted a wire to hold the legs in place to cause intentional trauma to the knee joints.


In one study—paid for by your tax dollars—experimenters forced mice to become addicted to cocaine and deliberately induced stress in 16 of them by restraining them in narrow, cone-shaped tubes. But instead of the specified 30-minute restraint period, the mice were left in the tubes for 15 hours. One chewed through the tube and escaped, nine were found dead, and the remaining six were found in such poor condition that they had to be euthanized. In another bizarre study, Pitt experimenters surgically joined together pairs of mice. At least 166 mice used in these exceptionally cruel experiments were given no postoperative pain relief.

u of pitt, university of pittsburgh, laboratory, investigation, mouse, mice fighting

With no opportunity to escape from their intense confinement, stressed mice fought, causing traumatic wounds.


Other examples of the egregious cruelty documented inside Pitt’s laboratories include the following:

  • Living mice were put in freezers intended for dead animals.
  • Mice died from dehydration when no one noticed that their watering system had failed.
  • Mice died when they were shoved into boxes in remote parts of the laboratory and forgotten about.
  • A mouse with a severe leg and foot lesion and exposed muscle wasn’t euthanized as required—instead, the animal was left to suffer, ignored, for two weeks.
  • Mice’s toes were amputated without painkillers.

Following PETA’s eyewitness investigation, federal investigators confirmed many of our allegations: Mice were found dead in cages, cages were flooded, and incompatibly housed mice were so severely injured from fighting that they had to be euthanized.

Please join PETA in urging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to stop funneling billions of taxpayer dollars into crude and cruel experiments on animals.

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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