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

School Has Called for Laboratories to Euthanize Animals 'No Longer Needed for Studies'

For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Cambridge, Mass. – In light of reports that as part of a COVID-19 response, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is urging laboratory experimenters who use rodents to euthanize “retired breeders and animals no longer needed for studies,” PETA fired off a letter today to MIT President L. Rafael Reif urging a shutdown of animal experimentation at the school immediately.

Given that the school considers many animals used in its experiments to be extraneous to the testing, as its response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, PETA is urging it to prohibit the approval of new animal protocols and experiments, ban the breeding and acquisition of animals for laboratories, finalize and end current animal experiments, switch to superior human-relevant research methods if these animal experiments cannot concretely be shown to have improved human health, and publicly release information on any and all animals killed because MIT deemed them not to be essential to the testing.

“MIT’s use of intelligent animals in deadly experiments as though they were nothing more than disposable laboratory equipment is shameful,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “COVID-19 should be a moral and scientific reckoning for the school: If MIT can’t prove that the animals used in its experiments are needed, it shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer money on them in the first place.”

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. 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 MIT 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