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

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

For Immediate Release:
September 2, 2020

Contact:
Amanda Tumbleson 202-483-7382

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

In its letter, PETA notes that in the last fiscal year, the university received nearly $469 million in state appropriations, some of which may have gone toward funding animal experiments that were ultimately postponed or canceled. In March, ISU asked its staff to “prioritize ongoing essential [animal] research,” “[c]onsider delaying new projects and delaying acquisition of new animal subjects,” and “[r]educe rodent breeding to only numbers required to maintain lines.” The university also urged experimenters “to begin identification of non-critical animal assets … and assist in arrangements for their disposition.” These directives likely led to the killing of hundreds or more animals the school deemed extraneous. PETA questions why state funds were wasted on experiments considered non-essential.

“ISU’s experiments on animals were undoubtedly cruel, and apparently not even the school 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.) 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 Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand 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 PETA.org or click here.

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