PETA Blasts FDA After Uncovering Incompetence, Disregard in Agency’s Jefferson Laboratory

For Immediate Release:
December 11, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Little Rock, Ark.

Documents recently obtained by PETA have revealed nearly a dozen animal welfare violations at a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratory in Jefferson, prompting PETA to call on the FDA today to redirect its efforts toward non-animal research methods that the agency itself says can prove to be superior.

“Animals were mauled, sickened in curiosity-driven studies, and left to die miserably in this Jefferson FDA laboratory,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on the FDA to do better for animals and human patients and redirect funding to superior, non-animal research.”

open letter to eu officials regarding animal testing

For illustrative purposes only. Credit: Doctors Against Animal Experiments

Among the numerous violations that PETA found at the National Center for Toxicological Research, workers put a rat in the wrong cage, causing a fight with another rat that led to the animal sustaining a gaping wound that fully exposed shoulder muscle. Four additional rats were sickened and one died after they were given a carcinogenic chemical. Eight baby rats who had been exposed to a test agent weren’t euthanized at the time specified in the approved protocol, so the data couldn’t be used.

Other serious violations involved primates fighting to the point of injury, mice being denied prescribed veterinary treatment for days, and more than a dozen zebrafish being killed in two separate incidents when tanks housing them malfunctioned, tainting the water.

The FDA has acknowledged the limitations of animal testing, admitting that “alternative methods have the potential to provide both more timely and more predictive information.” But the FDA allocated just $5 million for “Reducing Animal Testing Through Alternative Methods” in its 2023 budget, a sliver of its $6.7 billion spending plan. PETA scientists’ Research Modernization Deal provides a strategy for replacing animals with modern, human-relevant research methods.

PETA has also alerted the FDA to similar violations at its laboratories in Laurel and Silver Spring, Maryland.

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 X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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