Following Euthanasia of Animals as Part of Schools' COVID-19 Response Plans, Group Questions Why Non-Essential Experiments Were Ever Conducted or Funded by Taxpayers
For Immediate Release:
September 15, 2020
Amanda Tumbleson 202-483-7382
Pittsburgh – Today, PETA sent a letter to the state auditor urging an audit of the use of public money, personnel, property, equipment, and space by Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) 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 universities received nearly $473 million in state appropriations, some of which may have gone toward funding animal experiments that were ultimately postponed or canceled. In March, Penn State urged its experimenters to “begin preparing for all on-campus research to be reduced to essential research-related activities” and to “[i]dentify critical/priority cages (founder stock for breeding colonies, irreplaceable animals, etc.).” Pitt urged its experimenters to “[i]dentify all non-essential research-related activities that can be delayed, ramped down, curtailed, or suspended … and begin the process to do so.” 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.
“Pennsylvania State University’s and the University of Pittsburgh’s experiments on animals 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 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.