PETA Calls For State Audit of University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University 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 17, 2020

Amanda Tumbleson 202-483-7382

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

In its letter, PETA notes that in the last fiscal year, the universities received $692 million in state appropriations, some of which may have gone toward funding animal experiments that were ultimately postponed or canceled. Ohio State University informed its experimenters that “[o]nly critical research that needs to be done in the lab should be being conducted on campus at this time” and instructed its University Laboratory Animal Resources staff to “euthanize animals that they identify meet [early removal criteria].”

The University of Cincinnati informed its experimenters that “only approved Critical [sic] research activities” are allowed and urged them to consider “delaying acquisition of new animal subjects” and to “[r]educe rodent breeding to only numbers required to maintain lines.”

These directives likely led to the killing of hundreds or more animals the schools deemed extraneous. PETA questions why state funds were wasted on experiments considered non-essential.

“Ohio State University’s and the University of Cincinnati’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.

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