For Immediate Release:
January 13, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Baltimore – Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President Shalin Gala regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s newly released citations of Johns Hopkins University for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. These include inadequate aseptic technique during surgeries, inadequate postsurgical monitoring, and failing to follow established humane endpoints during a traumatic brain injury study in which three rabbits were euthanized after abscess, infection, and wound separation (dehiscence) were noted at the incision sites, respectively. In addition, the university failed to inform veterinary staff promptly about pressure ulcers on both hind feet of a female baboon.
The USDA’s troubling citations are yet more evidence of a culture of corruption in animal laboratories within Johns Hopkins University (JHU). PETA has filed complaints with the National Institutes of Health and the state’s attorney for Baltimore City calling for reimbursement of funds for experiments on animals covered by these violations and prosecution for all appropriate cruelty-to-animals charges.
The university’s history of obscene incompetence and neglect during its experiments on animals has resulted in numerous other violations of federal animal protection guidelines and regulations. These include dosing rats with alcohol for three weeks longer than had been approved by the school’s own experimental oversight body and then delaying euthanasia of the animals—some of whom were in poor health, showing signs of weight loss and with tissue that protruded from surgical incisions—after liver transplants. In addition, JHU failed to provide pigs with analgesics, failed to report that a pig’s elbows had been broken while the animal was being moved from a transport cage, administered expired medications to rabbits, and failed to maintain aseptic technique as well as a sterile workspace, resulting in contaminated cranial implants being embedded in monkeys, who later suffered from chronic antibiotic-resistant infections. JHU experimenter Shreesh Mysore’s notorious brain-scrambling studies on owls also violated Maryland state law for up to seven years.
JHU must redirect its resources toward modern, non-animal research methods that will actually help humans, and we urge officials there to adopt PETA’s Research Modernization Deal.