COVID-19 Prompts PETA Call for West Virginia University to Shut Down Animal Labs

School Laboratories Urged to Ensure That They Aren’t ‘Keeping [Animal] Lines That Are Not Necessary,’ Likely by Killing Many Animals

For Immediate Release:
April 2, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Morgantown, W. Va.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, West Virginia University (WVU) has told its experimenters to “look through their [animal] colonies and make sure that they are not keeping lines that are not necessary,” which will likely lead to the killing of hundreds of animals in laboratories.

PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s president, E. Gordon Gee, demanding to know why the school conducts noncritical animal experiments.

PETA contends that WVU’s admission that it runs noncritical 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. It also needs to tell taxpayers how many animals it deemed extraneous and killed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“West Virginia 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 these animal 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 or click here.

PETA’s letter to the university is available here.

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