COVID-19, Violations Prompt PETA Call for UCLA to Shut Down Animal Labs

School Laboratories to ‘Ramp Down or Terminate Research,’ Likely by Killing Hundreds of Animals, As Part of COVID-19 Response Plan

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Los Angeles

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) is urging experimenters to “ramp down or terminate research,” which will likely lead to the killing of hundreds or more laboratory animals.

PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s chancellor, Gene Block, demanding to know why the school conducts noncritical animal experiments.

Reports obtained from the National Institutes of Health show chronic and systemic violations of the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals in UCLA’s laboratories. Among other incidents, for two months, animals were left unattended on weekends; animals were not given proper pain medication after surgery; and monkeys were left without water.

PETA contends that UCLA’s disregard of animal protection policies and admission that it runs noncritical animal experiments prove the school needs to stop all animal experiments, 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, PETA says.

“UCLA 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. If the university can’t prove that these 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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