PETA Calls for State Audit of UAB After COVID-19–Related Animal Killings

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 10, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Montgomery, Ala. – Today, PETA sent a letter to the state chief examiner of public accounts urging an audit of the use of public money, personnel, property, equipment, and space by the University of Alabama–Birmingham (UAB) for animal experiments that were deemed non-essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, apparently resulting in the euthanasia of animals in the school’s laboratories.

In its letter, PETA notes that in the last fiscal year, the university received $253 million in state appropriations, some of which may have gone toward funding animal experiments that were ultimately postponed or canceled. In March, UAB asked its staff to “limit operations to essential research,” instructed them to mark “priority cages” of animals, and forbade starting new experiments. These directives likely led to the killing of hundreds or more animals whom the school deemed extraneous.  PETA questions why state funds were wasted on experiments considered non-essential.

“The University of Alabama–Birmingham’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.) And 95% of new medications that are found to be safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials.

PETA’s letter to Alabama Chief Examiner Rachel Riddle 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