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:
August 31, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Sacramento, Calif. – Today, PETA sent a letter to the state auditor urging an audit of the use of public money, personnel, property, equipment, and space by University of California (UC) campuses in Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco for animal experiments deemed non-essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. This apparently led to the euthanasia of animals in UC laboratories.
In its letter, PETA notes that in the last fiscal year, those campuses received $428 million in state appropriations, some of which may have gone toward funding animal experiments that were ultimately postponed or canceled. In March, UC-Berkeley implemented a plan “to ramp down, curtail, or postpone, animal research experiments”; UC-Davis urged its staff to “ramp down all noncritical on-campus research activities”; UC-Los Angeles requested that its experimenters “ramp down or terminate research”; UC-San Diego urged experimenters to “[c]onsider culling non-essential animals”; and UC-San Francisco informed its staff that “[i]n mouse facilities, breeding should be reduced to the minimum possible; no increases in cage counts will be permitted and all researchers should plan for additional reductions of cage counts in the future.” 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 on UC campuses 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 California State Auditor Elaine M. Howle 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.