COVID-19 Prompts PETA Call for the University of Arizona to Shut Down Animal Labs

School Laboratories to 'Completely Ramp Down' Research, Likely Killing Many Animals

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Tucson, Ariz. – Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of Arizona (UA) is expecting experimenters to “completely ramp down” their laboratories, which will likely lead to the killing of hundreds or more of laboratory animals.

PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s president, Robert C. Robbins, demanding to know why the school conducts non-critical animal experiments.

PETA contends that UA’s admission that it runs non-essential animal experiments proves that the school 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 university also needs to tell taxpayers how many animals it deemed extraneous and killed in response to COVID-19, PETA says.

“The University of Arizona’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. “The COVID-19 pandemic should be a moral and scientific reckoning for the school. If the university can’t prove that the animals used in its experiments are needed, 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