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

Experimenters Told to Consider 'Depopulating' Animals as Part of COVID-19 Response Plan; at Least 600 Mice Already 'Culled'

For Immediate Release:
April 8, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Pittsburgh – Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is preparing experimenters to “ramp down” research and telling them to consider “decreasing animal census numbers” and “depopulating” their “animal colon[ies],” which will likely lead to the killing of at least hundreds of animals. One CMU experimenter stated on Twitter that 600 mice were “culled” in her laboratory.

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

PETA contends that CMU 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.

“Carnegie Mellon 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. If it can’t prove that the animals used in its 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.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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