For Immediate Release:
February 3, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Salt Lake City – 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 the University of Utah for its violations of federal animal welfare regulations:
This warning won’t undo the trauma endured by animals, but it shows that the University of Utah shouldn’t be trusted with even one more penny of 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 the school. The university’s obscene incompetence and neglect resulted in multiple animal deaths. A dog who suffered from experimentally inflicted heart failure died after he wasn’t properly monitored. A rabbit suffocated to death while under anesthesia after workers neglected to open a valve to permit the animal to breathe. A guinea pig died of an anesthetic overdose after laboratory staff gave the animal 10 times the correct dose. Two marmoset monkeys died of overheating and distress when they were left overnight in their nest box. And three marmosets died after they were used in experimental surgeries but not given adequate veterinary care.
These critical violations, originally documented in inspection reports from 2020 and 2021, 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.
The University of Utah 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.