Federal Documents Obtained by PETA Reveal Scalded Monkeys, Drowned Mice in OHSU Labs

For Immediate Release:
October 22, 2021

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Portland, Ore.

PETA has just obtained documents revealing egregious animal welfare violations in Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) laboratories, prompting the group to send a letter today to school President Danny Jacobs asking that he implement a zero-tolerance policy that strips experimentation privileges from anyone caught violating federal animal welfare regulations and guidelines.

Among other incidents, workers failed to notice when a monkey became trapped between a wall and a row of cages, causing traumatic injuries and necessitating euthanasia. Two monkeys were scalded to death in a high-temperature cage washer, 12 mice slowly drowned from a gradual water valve leak, and after workers forgot to put water bottles in five cages, four prairie voles died of dehydration and one was euthanized.

“Nobody who scalds a monkey to death or lets a dozen mice drown has any business working with animals,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA is calling on OHSU’s president to end the deadly incompetence in the school’s laboratories.”

The documents also reveal that several experimenters deviated from protocols approved by the university’s oversight body. In one incident, a ferret had to be euthanized following experimental brain surgery conducted by untrained personnel. Two other ferrets who had been used in the surgery were seen suffering—one appeared to have developed an infection, indicated by “a strong foul odor.” In another incident, experimenters improperly cut into a marmoset’s skull and then denied the animal veterinary care for days. The monkey subsequently developed a brain infection and had to be euthanized.

OHSU received more than $340 million in taxpayer money from the National Institutes of Health in 2020, with about half of that allocated to animal experimentation.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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