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

PETA Demands Shutdown of Animal Testing, Release of Information on Taxpayer-Funded Experiments

For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

San Diego – Following reports that because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of California–San Diego (UCSD) is urging its experimenters to consider “culling non-essential animals,” PETA fired off a letter today to UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, urging a shutdown of animal experimentation at the school immediately.

PETA questions why—when the experiments were approved by the school’s oversight body—these animals are now so easily discarded, indicating that they never should have been bought, bred, or experimented on in the first place. PETA is urging the school 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 it can’t be shown that these animal experiments advance human health, and publicly release information on any and all animals killed because UCSD deemed them not to be essential to the testing.

“UCSD’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. “COVID-19 should be a moral and scientific reckoning for the school: If UCSD can’t prove that the animals used in its animal 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 testing—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 UCSD 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