PETA Calls For State Audit of Ga. Tech, UGA After COVID-19–Related Animal Killings for

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

Atlanta – Today, PETA sent a letter to the state auditor urging an audit of the use of public money, personnel, property, equipment, and space by the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and the University of Georgia (UGA) 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, Georgia Tech and UGA received $823 million in state appropriations, some of which may have gone toward funding animal experiments that were ultimately postponed or canceled. In March, Georgia Tech urged its experimenters “to ramp down operations” and to “identify essential research experiments,” which “should be a limited set of the current laboratory bench-based experimentation.” UGA urged its staff to stop “[a]ll non-essential [animal] research … as soon as possible” and issued a plan that includes the following instructions: “Cull animals not needed and begin breeding solely to maintain valuable colonies”; “[f]lag most valuable rat and mouse cages … as VIP”; “[e]uthanize rodents requiring repeated treatment when research staff are unable to complete them”; “[target] euthanasia of mice and rats, for non-‘VIP’, priority save, cages”; and “[e]uthanize remaining animals … following sentient animal order.” These directives likely led to the killing of hundreds or more animals whom the schools deemed extraneous. PETA questions why state funds were wasted on experiments considered non-essential.

“The experiments on animals carried out at Georgia Tech and UGA 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—fails to lead to treatments for humans. (Please read under “Lack of benefit for humans” here.) And 95% of new medications that are found to be safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials.

PETA’s letter to Georgia State Auditor Greg S. Griffin 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