Mice Starved, Sheep Denied Pain Relief: 55 Violations Found at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

PETA Urges Police to Investigate Facility for Felony Crimes Against Animals

For Immediate Release:
July 21, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


After uncovering documents revealing dozens of violations of federal animal welfare guidelines at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), PETA is calling on the Boston Police Department to investigate. More than 163 mice, rats, and sheep suffered in what appear to be felony violations of the state’s prohibitions against cruelty to animals. The statute makes it a crime to deprive animals of “necessary sustenance” and to subject them to “unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty of any kind.”

PETA uncovered 55 incidents of cruelty to animals. A sheep and mice were denied adequate pain relief after surgical procedures. Several animals starved to death when workers failed to feed them. Mice were left to suffer when humane euthanasia was required and live ones, presumed dead, were put inside a refrigerator after failed euthanasia procedures. Seven mice had to be euthanized after experimenters put a sponge on their surgical incisions that blocked them from accessing food and water. Twelve mice developed ulcers and were euthanized after an experimenter injected them with an unapproved substance. Four mice died after an experimenter who hadn’t completed training performed surgery on them. Thirteen rats died when staff failed to notice that experimental equipment was malfunctioning.

“Experimenters and staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital are apparently unqualified even to feed animals properly, let alone cut them open and experiment on them,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on the Boston PD to investigate and, if warranted, throw the book at this facility for violating state law.”

Studies show that 90% of all basic research, most of which involves animals, fails to lead to treatments for humans. In a letter sent today, PETA urges BWH to adopt its Research Modernization Deal, which offers a strategy for replacing cruel and pointless experiments on animals with human-relevant methods.

The documents are available upon request.

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

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