PETA Demands That Feds Investigate Cornell University for Killing Animals Deemed Extraneous

For Immediate Release:
November 18, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Ithaca, N.Y. – This morning, PETA called on National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Program Integrity Director Deborah Kearse to investigate Cornell University—which in FY2020 received $92,868,490 in funding from NIH, part of which may have supported animal testing—for apparently wasting taxpayer funds on tests on animals whom experimenters deemed extraneous and killed.

The group’s request follows the directive by Cornell to reduce non-essential research by March 18, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—which resulted in the reported killing of 10% of the university’s rodent population. The school’s actions mirror decisions by other universities across the country, such as Rutgers University, which reportedly killed 23,000 mice slated to be used in experiments deemed “non-essential” while also receiving $1.15 million in state taxpayer funds as compensation for destroying the animals.

“If Cornell University and other schools can deem tests noncritical, 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 NIH to launch an investigation and recover taxpayer funds wasted on admittedly non-essential animal experiments.”

PETA notes that calling animals “unnecessary,” “non-essential,” “noncritical,” or “extraneous” or using other similar terminology to describe them should raise significant red flags—particularly given the widespread euthanasia of such animals—regarding why such experiments were approved and funded in the first place.

PETA’s letter is available upon request. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on the group’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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