PETA Statement: UC San Diego Critical USDA Violation

For Immediate Release:
September 24, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

San Diego – Please see the following statement from PETA Veterinarian Dr. Ingrid Taylor on the deaths of six rabbits at UC-San Diego:

The hideous deaths of six rabbits indicate that University of California–San Diego’s (UC–San Diego) animal experimentation oversight body is missing in action. According to a just-released government report obtained by PETA, the school has been cited by federal authorities for a “critical” violation of the Animal Welfare Act, the most severe category. Apparently, incompetent staffers injected six rabbits with such a high dose of barium chloride—a highly toxic compound—that two rabbits died and the remaining four had to be euthanized. An overdose of barium chloride likely caused the rabbits’ misery, including difficulty breathing, a slow heart rate, and heart arrhythmia. The deaths may have been the result of the severe cardiac effects of this compound.

In 2018, UC–San Diego received more than $459 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Receipt of taxpayer dollars from NIH is contingent on compliance with minimal animal welfare regulations and guidelines, so PETA will be calling on NIH to pull the funding for animal experiments. If staff can’t read instructions and properly measure dangerous chemicals, UC–San Diego shouldn’t be benefiting from our tax dollars.

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

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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