COVID-19 Prompts PETA Call for University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston to Shut Down Animal Labs

Experimenters Told to ‘Delay Non-Time-Sensitive Animal Experiments’ as Part of COVID-19 Response Plan

For Immediate Release:
April 30, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Galveston, Texas

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of Texas Medical Branch–Galveston has told experimenters to “not initiate any new animal projects and consider reducing current rodent colony size as much and as quickly as possible,” “reduce experiments and animal use whenever possible,” “[l]imit rodent breeding to maintenance of replacement breeders only,” “[d]elay experiments requiring significant post-procedural care,” and “[d]elay non-time-sensitive animal experiments,” which likely will lead to the killing of hundreds or more animals.

PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s president, Ben G. Raimer, demanding to know why the school conducts noncritical animal experiments. The group is also asking the public to e-mail the university via this action alert to urge it to be transparent regarding how many animals it deems nonessential and euthanizes in response to COVID-19 and to stop all current and new animal experiments.

The school also needs to ban the breeding and purchase of animals and switch to superior, human-relevant research methods.

“The University of Texas Medical Branch–Galveston’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 it keeps inside small steel cages. If it can’t prove that the experiments are essential—and its response to the pandemic indicates that they’re not—it must not be permitted to continue squandering taxpayer money on them once the pandemic is over.”

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 safe and 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.

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