PETA Calls For State Audit of FSU and UF After COVID-19–Related Animal Killings for ‘Non-Essential’ Experiments

Following Euthanasia of Animals as Part of Schools' COVID-19 Response Plans, Group Questions Why Extraneous Experiments Were Ever Conducted or Funded by Taxpayers

For Immediate Release:
September 1, 2020

Amanda Tumbleson 202-483-7382

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, PETA sent a letter to the state auditor urging an audit of the use of public money, personnel, property, equipment, and space by Florida State University (FSU) and the University of Florida (UF) for animal experiments deemed non-essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. This apparently led to the euthanasia of animals in the universities’ laboratories.

In its letter, PETA notes that in the last fiscal year, FSU and UF received $1.28 billion in state appropriations, some of which may have gone toward funding animal experiments that were ultimately postponed or canceled. In March, UF informed its staff that “only mission-critical, essential research should continue” and urged experimenters to “consider reduction of animal census, including agricultural animals and USDA-covered species.” In April, FSU informed its experimenters that “all nonessential research occurring in a space owned or secured by FSU must be ramped down.” These directives likely led to the killing of hundreds or more animals the schools deemed extraneous. PETA questions why state funds were wasted on experiments considered non-essential.

“The experiments on animals conducted at FSU and UF were undoubtedly cruel, and apparently not even the schools can justify them,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on state officials to follow the money and prevent taxpayer waste—and animal suffering—in laboratories that should never have received funding in the first place.”

Numerous published studies have shown that animal experimentation wastes resources and lives, as more than 90% of highly promising results from basic scientific research—much of it involving animal experimentation—fail to lead to treatments for humans. (Please read under “Lack of benefit for humans” here.) In addition, 95% of new medications that are found to be safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials.

PETA’s letter to Florida Auditor General Sherrill F. Norman is available upon request. The group—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or click here.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind