COVID-19, Violations Prompt PETA Call for University of Minnesota to Shut Down Animal Labs

School Laboratories to Start to “Euthanize [Animals] As Soon As [Their] Data Is Collected” As Part of COVID-19 Response Plan

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Minneapolis, Minn.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of Minnesota (UMN) is urging experimenters to “euthanize [animals] as soon as [their] data is collected,” which will likely lead to the killing of hundreds of laboratory animals (or more).

PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s president, Joan T.A. Gabel, demanding to know why the school conducts noncritical animal experiments.

Reports obtained from the National Institutes of Health reveal chronic and systemic violations of the U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals in UMN’s laboratories. Among other incidents, three monkeys endured unapproved CT scans and mice and rats weren’t given pain medication after surgery. In one incident, 89 mice were given an expired anesthetic.

PETA contends that UNM’s disregard of animal protection policies and its admission that it runs animal experiments proves that the school needs to stop all animal experiments, ban the breeding and purchase of animals, and switch to human-relevant research methods. The school also needs to tell taxpayers how many animals it deemed extraneous and killed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PETA says.

“UMN 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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