PETA Files Cruelty Complaint Against Baylor College of Medicine

For Immediate Release:
March 29, 2022

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Houston – After reports from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare revealed appalling animal welfare violations in Baylor College of Medicine’s (BCM) laboratories from 2019 to 2021, PETA filed a complaint today with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. In it, we allege violations of Texas’ prohibitions against cruelty to animals and call on the district attorney to investigate BCM’s conduct and pursue all appropriate charges. PETA also sent a letter to BCM President Paul Klotman, M.D., urging him to prohibit staff who fail to comply with animal welfare regulations or directives from veterinary staff from having contact with animals.

From February 1, 2019, to June 10, 2021, NIH documented 78 federal animal welfare violations in BCM labs, including the following:

  • Mice and rats underwent excruciating surgeries—including tracheal surgery, tumor cell placement surgery, tumor removal surgery, castration, head bar implantation, and cranial injections—without adequate pain relief measures or postsurgical care.
  • Experimenters killed mice by breaking their necks and amputated their tails and toes without anesthesia, in violation of approved protocols.
  • A mouse died after experimenters drew blood from an artery behind her eye and then removed her eye—all without anesthesia.
  • Five pairs of mice who were stitched together in an experiment were subjected to risky and complicated separation surgery without appropriate oversight.
  • Mice and rats died of starvation and thirst after staffers failed to provide them with food and water.

“Staff negligence and incompetence at Baylor are causing agonizing deaths for animals imprisoned in its laboratories,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “Law enforcement must step in now and hold those responsible for this abuse accountable.”

Baylor received more than $351 million in taxpayer funds last year from NIH, and roughly half of that funded experiments on animals—yet the college has failed to comply with federal animal welfare guidelines and has apparently flouted state anti-cruelty statutes.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group 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