PETA Files NIH Complaint Against Southern Research Institute After USDA’s Official Warning

For Immediate Release:
February 3, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Birmingham, Ala. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding the official warning posted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) against Southern Research Institute for its violations of federal animal welfare regulations:

This warning won’t undo the trauma endured by animals, but it shows that Southern Research Institute shouldn’t be trusted with even one more penny in taxpayer funding for experiments on animals— PETA has filed a complaint with the National Institutes of Health, calling on the agency to turn off the money spigot to Southern Research. The institute’s obscene neglect caused a hamster to become so severely injured by the metal screen on his cage that he was killed, and a second hamster deteriorated to such an extent after not being fed for several days that he, too, was killed. In addition, a monkey sustained acute injuries to his mouth and lips after a clamp hanging from his cage became caught in his mouth.

These critical violations were so serious that USDA inspectors referred them to its Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES) arm, which issued the rare warning. Last year, IES issued only 58 official warnings—even though the USDA’s inspection arm filed thousands of inspection reports documenting violations.

Southern Research 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. This will benefit animals—who are sentient and deserve to live free from suffering inflicted by humans—and promote public health and safety, since monkeys can carry pathogens that pose a risk to humans. In 2020, Southern Research reported using 161 monkeys in experiments and holding an additional 73 monkeys who had not yet been used.

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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