Inept Staff Kill Nearly 12,000 Animals in University of Michigan Laboratories

PETA Calls For Immediate and Meaningful Repercussions Against Negligent Staff Members Who Break Federal Animal Welfare Law

For Immediate Release:
February 6, 2023

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Ann Arbor, Mich.

PETA is calling for University of Michigan (U-M) President Santa J. Ono to revoke the animal experimenting privileges of staff who break federal law and ban them from animal laboratories after discovering that among 18 separate violations of federal animal welfare guidelines, neglect by laboratory staff killed nearly 12,000 animals.

PETA is also filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleging violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

The following are among the violations that U-M reported to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) between 2018 and 2022:

  • 11,548 zebrafish died after staff failed to notice that a hose was siphoning bleach into the fish tanks
  • 110 mice suffered without pain medication following surgery
  • Nearly 100 mice died after staff gave them expired drugs
  • 53 mice died after staff failed to notice they had no access to water
  • 17 mice survived botched euthanasia and were placed into a plastic bag to be thrown out like trash—while they were still alive
  • 15 mice with tumors were left to suffer when their distress should have been ended
  • A rabbit went missing from an enclosure and was never found

“U-M’s disregard for federal law is killing animals,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “Every one of the reckless experimenters involved should never be allowed near an animal again.”

U-M received more than $644 million in taxpayer money from NIH in 2022, yet numerous published studies have shown that animal experimentation wastes resources and lives, as 95% of new medications that are found safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials.

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

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