Following Euthanasia of Animals as Part of School's COVID-19 Response Plans, Group Questions Why Non-Essential Experiments Were Ever Conducted or Funded by Taxpayers
For Immediate Release:
September 15, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Kingston, R.I. – 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 Rhode Island (URI) for animal experiments deemed non-essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. This apparently led to the euthanasia of animals in the school’s laboratories.
In its letter, PETA notes that in the last fiscal year, the university received $80 million in state appropriations, some of which may have gone toward funding animal experiments that were ultimately postponed or canceled. During the COVID-19 pandemic, URI informed its experimenters that “[a]ll non-essential animal research … needs to be drawn down and halted” and that “preparations should be made [for long term studies] to reduce animal counts to minimal needed to complete study goals.” 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 Rhode Island’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.) In addition, 95% of new medications that are found to be safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials.