You Paid for It: Mice Baked to Death, Zebrafish Killed With Salt

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

Armed with damning federal documents revealing chronic violations of dozens of animal welfare provisions at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), PETA is demanding a thorough audit of the agency’s experiments on animals and an end to the rampant neglect, incompetence, and wasteful government spending at the taxpayer-funded laboratories, where hundreds of dogs and rabbits, thousands of monkeys, and hundreds of thousands of mice and rats are caged.

PETA is also calling on NIH to phase out experiments on animals in favor of sophisticated, human-relevant research methods. Overwhelming evidence indicates that animal studies often fail to lead to effective treatments and cures for human diseases.

As reported by AFP, case files dated from January 5, 2018, to October 15, 2019, document 31 incidents at NIH’s facilities involving serious violations of federal animal welfare guidelines, including the following:

  • NIH experimenters failed to give pain relief to mice who were subjected to invasive bone fractures, blood vessel cannulation, vasectomies, and other surgeries.
  • Mice starved to death or died of dehydration because employees forgot to put food or water in their cages and no one noticed. Thirteen mice baked to death when an HVAC failure caused temperatures to soar to 100 degrees overnight.
  • Lights were left on around the clock for almost five months in the rooms where primates were held.
  • A female owl monkey lost 20% of her bodyweight and was severely anemic, but she wasn’t provided with veterinary care and died in her cage.
  • Dogs were used in a septic shock study that was suspended after experimenters deviated from the approved protocol, including by using sutures that caused infection.
  • Experimenters injected zebrafish with a salt solution in unapproved procedures that killed many of them.

And the list goes on.

“Taxpayers are footing the bill for animals to suffer and die at the hands of careless experimenters and corner-cutting top brass at NIH,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA is calling for an immediate review of these facilities’ sloppy practices and a shift to more sophisticated, animal-free research methods.”

PETA has also urged NIH to adopt its Research Modernization Deal, which offers a strategy for identifying and eliminating funding for methods that don’t work and refocusing resources on more promising, human-relevant, non-animal testing.

You can help! Join PETA and compassionate people across the country in telling Congress to mandate that NIH stop throwing your money away on abusive, deadly, and useless animal experiments and instead focus on modern, non-animal research methods.

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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