Experimenters Told to 'Prioritize Ongoing Essential [Animal] Research' as Part of COVID-19 Response Plan
For Immediate Release:
April 30, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Ames, Iowa – Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Iowa State University has told experimenters to “prioritize ongoing essential [animal] research,” “[c]onsider delaying new projects and delaying acquisition of new animal subjects,” and “[r]educe rodent breeding to only numbers required to maintain lines,” which likely will lead to the killing of hundreds or more animals.
PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s president, Wendy Wintersteen, 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.
“Iowa State 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 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 safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials.
PETA’s letter to the university is available here.