COVID-19 Prompts PETA Call for City University of New York to Shut Down Animal Labs

Experimenters Urged to '[Suspend] Projects and Not Start New Projects Requiring On-Site Activities' as Part of COVID-19 Response Plan

For Immediate Release:
April 23, 2020

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

New York – Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the City University of New York has told experimenters to “[suspend] projects and not start new projects requiring on-site activities,” which likely will lead to the killing of hundreds or more animals.

PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s president, Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, demanding to know why the school conducts noncritical animal experiments. The group is also asking the public to e-mail the university via this action alert to urge it to be transparent regarding how many animals it deems nonessential and euthanizes in response to COVID-19 and to stop all current and new animal experiments.

The school also needs to ban the breeding and purchase of animals and switch to superior, human-relevant research methods.

“The City University of New York’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 inside small steel cages. If it can’t prove that the experiments are essential—and its response to the pandemic indicates that they’re not—it must not be permitted to continue squandering taxpayer money on them 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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“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