Mice Starved, Animals Denied Pain Relief in University of Minnesota Labs

PETA Uncovers Federal Records Revealing Multiple Animal Welfare Violations

For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


After uncovering chronic and serious federal animal welfare violations in University of Minnesota (UMN) laboratories—including failing to supply adequate pain relief to nearly 700 animals used in painful and invasive procedures—PETA is urging UMN President Joan Gabel to prohibit staff who fail to comply with animal welfare regulations or directives given by veterinary staff from having any contact with animals. Federal records obtained by PETA reveal 47 violations between January 2018 and September 2021.

The records show that employees’ negligence resulted in the starvation, dehydration, and deaths of numerous animals. Among the violations, two mice were scalded to death when they were left in a cage that was sent through a high-temperature cage steamer used for sterilization. Four monkeys’ water was severely restricted—against protocol. Mice weren’t fed for four days, necessitating emergency veterinary care. On two occasions, monkeys were locked in one quadrant of a cage for up to 15 hours because employees hadn’t removed and secured the cage dividers. A weanling mouse was discovered alive in a euthanasia bag, and experimenters performed unapproved tail amputations on 151 mice.

Despite these violations, UMN received more than $336 million in taxpayer money from the National Institutes of Health last year.

“Steaming animals to death and starving them for days at a time is evidence that many working in UMN’s laboratories need to be fired,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on UMN’s president to boot the violators from all animal laboratories permanently and replace animal experiments with modern, human-relevant research methods.”

Numerous published studies have shown that animal experimentation wastes resources and lives, as 95% of new medications that are found to be effective in animals go on to 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 news gathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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