COVID-19, Violations Prompt PETA Call for Baylor College of Medicine to Shut Down Animal Labs

At Least One Experimenter ‘Closed the Lab and Euthanized Animals’ as Part of COVID-19 Response Plan

For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, at least one Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) experimenter “closed the lab and euthanized animals,” which, combined with similar actions by other experimenters, likely resulted in the killing of hundreds or more animals.

PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s president, Paul Klotman, 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.

Reports obtained from the National Institutes of Health reveal chronic and systemic violations of the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals in BCM’s laboratories. Among other incidents, mice were subjected to craniotomies but not given proper pain medication, two rabbits died because of anesthetic complications caused by improper practices, and the toes of baby and adult mice were amputated in surgeries that were unapproved or carried out without anesthesia.

BCM’s disregard for animal protection laws and its admission that it runs noncritical animal experiments prove that it needs to stop all animal experimentation, ban the breeding and purchase of animals, and switch to human-relevant research methods. The university also needs to tell taxpayers how many animals it deemed extraneous and killed in response to COVID-19.

“Baylor College of Medicine does a sloppy, substandard job of caring for animals in fully staffed laboratories, so nothing good can be expected amid a pandemic,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “The COVID-19 outbreak 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 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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