Monkey Strangled, Mouse Scalded to Death: PETA Slams NIH Negligence

For Immediate Release:
December 7, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


PETA has just obtained documents revealing egregious animal welfare violations at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), prompting the group to send a letter today to Deputy Director for Intramural Research Dr. Michael Gottesman asking that he implement a zero-tolerance policy that strips experimentation privileges from anyone caught violating federal animal welfare regulations and guidelines.

Among scores of other serious and frequently fatal incidents, 72 mice died after workers failed to provide them with access to food and/or water on 19 occasions and more than 20 mice died in separate instances from extreme heat exposure inside their cages. A litter of live baby mice was thrown out with the trash. After the mice were discovered inside a trash bag containing discarded bedding material from cage changes, they were killed. A monkey strangled to death after becoming entangled in a chain, and a mouse was scalded to death when his cage was run through a mechanical washer with him inside. A live mouse was discovered inside a refrigerator after experimenters failed to follow approved euthanasia protocols.

“Nobody who lets dozens of mice starve to death or a monkey strangle in his cage has any business working with animals,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on NIH to end the deadly incompetence in its laboratories and embrace modern, humane, human-relevant research.”

After the October 2021 announcement of the upcoming resignation of NIH Director Francis Collins—an animal experimentation enthusiast—PETA supporters in dinosaur costumes began trailing President Joe Biden, urging him to take the nation out of the scientific Stone Age by choosing a visionary replacement who will end the agency’s funding of animal tests and instead invest in state-of-the-art, animal-free research methods.

With Collins at the helm, NIH has squandered nearly half its budget—$19.5 billion in 2020—on animal experiments annually, even though 95% of new drugs that test safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials and more than 90% of basic research, most of which involves animals, fails to lead to treatments for humans. The Research Modernization Deal, developed by PETA scientists, provides a strategy for phasing out these studies.

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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