For Immediate Release:
June 14, 2023
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Amherst, Mass. – PETA is calling on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to pull its funding from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst (UMass) after the latest federal inspection report revealed yet another serious violation of federal animal welfare laws in the school’s laboratories.
PETA’s complaint, filed today, also urges NIH to investigate an experimenter who subjected hamsters to an excruciating procedure in which layers of tissue were removed, likely with chemicals or heat, without first searching for an alternative, non-animal method to obtain the same information, as the law requires.
“UMass has no respect for animals or the law,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “NIH should pull the school’s funding until it adopts non-animal research methods that are actually relevant to humans.”
This recent violation is only the latest infraction listed on UMass’ lengthy rap sheet. Last year, the feds cited the university after experimenters went rogue and held 10 young hamsters in constant, complete darkness for more than six months, twice as long as permitted by the experiment’s protocol. Inspectors found a mother hamster and her 19 babies confined to a cage that was too small and filled with 3 inches of their own waste. Mice in UMass labs have drowned, birds have starved to death, and zebrafish have died due to being kept in an overheated room.
All this is in addition to the school’s deadly menopause experiments on tiny marmoset monkeys—who don’t even experience menopause. One monkey used in these experiments was severely burned by hand warmers. He died three days later. Another monkey escaped a restraining device and was injured so seriously by staff trying to catch him that his tail had to be amputated.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.