Following Euthanasia of Animals as Part of Schools' COVID-19 Response Plans, Group Questions Why 'Unnecessary' Experiments Were Ever Conducted or Funded by Taxpayers
For Immediate Release:
September 3, 2020
Amanda Tumbleson 202-483-7382
Baltimore – Today, PETA sent a letter to the state comptroller urging an audit of the use of public money, personnel, property, equipment, and space by the University of Maryland–Baltimore and the University of Maryland–College Park for animal experiments deemed non-essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. This apparently led to the euthanasia of animals in the universities’ laboratories.
In its letter, PETA notes that in the last fiscal year, the universities received $143 million in state appropriations, some of which may have gone toward funding animal experiments that were ultimately postponed or canceled. In March, UMD-Baltimore asked its experimenters to consider “reduc[ing] colony size by euthanizing excess animals” and “evaluating all animals for status, meaning ‘high priority,’ ‘low priority’ and ‘euthanize first.'” UMD–College Park informed its experimenters that “all basic and animal research experimentation requiring a physical presence … will cease, unless specifically exempted.” 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 Maryland’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 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 Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot 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.