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

School Laboratories to Reduce 'Population Numbers', Likely Killing Many Animals

For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Missoula, Mont. – In light of reports that because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of Montana (UM) is planning to reduce “population numbers” in its laboratories—which will likely lead to killing many animals—PETA fired off a letter today to UM President Seth Bodnar urging an end to animal experimentation at the school immediately.

PETA questions why the school is conducting experiments on animals considered non-essential. The group is urging the university 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 animals and experiments cannot concretely show that they advance human health, and publicly release information on any and all animals killed because UM deemed them not essential to the testing.

“UM’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 UM 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 UM 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