COVID-19, Violations Prompt PETA Call for Yale University to Shut Down Animal Labs

School Laboratories to “Ramp Down” Experiments, Which Likely Means Killing Hundreds of Animals

For Immediate Release:
March 30, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

New Haven, Conn.

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Yale University has told staff that animal experiments “should be ramped down, curtailed, or postponed,” which will likely lead to the killing of hundreds or more laboratory animals.

PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s president, Peter Salovey, demanding to know why the school conducts noncritical animal experiments.

According to public records obtained by PETA from the National Institutes of Health via the Freedom of Information Act, Yale has reported many violations of the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The following are a few of them: Mice bled from their tails after a principal investigator performed unapproved biopsies on them; zebrafish died when a staff member failed to replace a baffle, allowing the fish to flow out of the tank; mice died when they were left without food and water for at least three days; a rat died when a surgeon failed to use the approved suture to close an abdominal incision; and several mice used in neurodegeneration experiments exceeded humane endpoints when researchers failed to understand the meaning of this concept.

“Yale does a sloppy, substandard job of caring for animals in fully staffed laboratories, so nothing good can be expected amid a pandemic,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “The COVID-19 outbreak should be a moral and scientific reckoning for the school, which conducts deadly experiments on animals. If the university can’t prove that these experiments are needed—which we know it can’t—it shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer money on them.”

Numerous published studies have shown that animal experimentation wastes resources and lives, as more than 90% of highly promising results from basic scientific research—much of it involving animal experimentation—fail to lead to treatments for humans. (Please read under “Lack of benefit for humans” here.) And 95% of new medications that are found to be effective in animals fail in human clinical trials.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or click here.

PETA’s letter to the university is available here.

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