PETA Calls For State Audit of Texas Universities After COVID-19–Related Animal Killings

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

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

As part of their COVID-19 response plans, the schools requested the following:

  • Texas A&M University (TAMU) asked its experimenters to “[s]uspend all research activities that have not been approved as essential.”
  • The University of Texas–Arlington asked its experimenters to “[r]educe your colony size by eliminating animals that will not be used in experiments.”
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio urged its experimenters to “focus their efforts on maintaining or decreasing the current number of cages in their rodent colony.”
  • The University of Texas Medical Branch–Galveston requested that its experimenters “consider reducing current rodent colony size as much and as quickly as possible.”

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. In its letter, the group notes that in the last fiscal year, TAMU and the University of Texas System received $3.4 billion in state appropriations, some of which may have gone toward funding animal experiments that were ultimately postponed or canceled.

“Texas A&M’s and the University of Texas’ 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.

PETA—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