PETA Demands Audit After Rutgers University Kills 23,000 Animals, Reaps Tax Bailout

For Immediate Release:
November 18, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

New Brunswick, N.J.

Today, PETA called on New Jersey State Auditor David Kaschak and the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Division of Program Integrity Director Deborah Kearse to audit Rutgers University for apparently wasting state and federal taxpayer funds on extraneous animal tests. The group’s request comes after a report revealed that, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown last year, Rutgers staff killed 23,000 mice who had been slated to be used in experiments deemed “non-critical.” The university also received $1.15 million in state taxpayer funds as compensation for destroying these animals. When questioned initially by PETA and reporters, the Rutgers Office of Research denied that any animals had been euthanized.

“If Rutgers can sentence 23,000 mice in its laboratories to death in ‘non-critical’ tests, the animals shouldn’t have been there in the first place and taxpayers shouldn’t have footed the bill,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on state and federal officials to launch an audit and recover taxpayer funds wasted on admittedly non-essential animal experiments.”

PETA also sent a letter to the university’s president, Jonathan Holloway, urging him not only to reimburse all taxpayer funds that the university had received relating to the 23,000 animals it deemed non-essential and killed but also to end the school’s wasteful animal experiments and instead shift resources toward human-relevant, non-animal research methods. PETA notes that the university received nearly $437 million in direct state operating aid in fiscal year 2020-21 as well as more than $98 million from NIH during that same period—part of which might have gone toward animal experimentation.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on,” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that Rutgers’ blatant lack of transparency about the animals killed in its COVID-19 slaughter spree raises red flags regarding the waste of animals in worthless experiments, particularly in light of the damning records reported by The Daily Targum.

PETA’s letters are available upon request. For more information on its investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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