COVID-19 Prompts PETA Call for Baylor University to Shut Down Animal Labs

Experimenters Told to 'Identify Any Non-Critical Research Experiments' as Part of COVID-19 Response Plan

For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2020

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Waco, Texas – Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Baylor University has told experimenters to “[i]dentify any non-critical research experiments that can be ramped down or delayed” and “to avoid extra or unneeded rodents and reduce colony size,” which likely will lead to the killing of hundreds or more animals.

PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s president, Linda A. Livingstone, demanding to know why the school conducts noncritical animal experiments. PETA is also alerting the public to email the university via this Action Alert to urge transparency in how many animals the school deems nonessential and euthanizes in response to COVID-19 and to stop all current and new animal experiments.

Baylor University needs to stop all current and new animal experiments, ban the breeding and purchase of animals, and switch to superior, human-relevant research methods. The school also needs to tell taxpayers how many animals it deemed extraneous and killed in response to COVID-19.

“Baylor University’s use of intelligent animals in experiments as though they were nothing more than disposable laboratory equipment is shameful,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “The COVID-19 pandemic should be a moral and scientific reckoning for the school, which conducts deadly experiments on animals it keeps in small steel cages. If it can’t prove that these experiments on animals are essential—which by taking this action, they are saying they are not —it must not be permitted to continue squandering taxpayer money on inessential business-as-usual, once the pandemic is over.”

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 PETA.org or click here.

PETA’s letter to the university is available here.

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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