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

Experimenters Told That 'Only Critical Research That Needs to Be Done in the Lab Should Be Being Conducted on Campus' as Part of COVID-19 Response Plan

For Immediate Release:
April 10, 2020

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Columbus, Ohio – Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Ohio State University has told experimenters that “[o]nly critical research that needs to be done in the lab should be being conducted on campus at this time,” and they can “euthanize animals that they identify meet [early removal criteria],” which likely will lead to the killing of hundreds or more animals.

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

Ohio State 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.

“Ohio 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. If the university 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 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