PETA to CDC: Stick to Advisories and Stop Starving, Steaming, Suffocating Animals in Your Labs

For Immediate Release:
August 9, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


Armed with federal documents revealing that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) personnel starved, steamed, and suffocated animals in addition to killing them in other horrific ways, PETA is calling on the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International) to revoke its accreditation of the CDC’s laboratories.

Among the many violations of federal guidelines that PETA has uncovered, a female monkey suffered with a vaginal ring that had created a mass in her body after it was left there for three years rather than the intended 14 days. A mouse was trapped in a food hopper and died of dehydration, another mouse was steamed to death in a high-temperature autoclave, and 42 mice (four of whom died) were left without oxygen. Fifty-five chicks died—five of them likely from starvation—after staff members placed embryonated eggs in incubators instead of refrigerators. Four mice were left without food, and one starved to death. Guinea pigs in four cages didn’t have access to water for 48 hours, and one had to be euthanized. One hundred seventy-seven mice were “unexpectedly” born because staff members failed to determine the sex of animals housed together, and 68 of them were euthanized.

In other incidents, CDC staff members ignored approved protocols and subjected goats to plasma collection “as often as every 48 hours” instead of every 30 days, infested rabbits with three bags of ticks instead of two—resulting in the killing of one rabbit—and forced monkeys to wear an unapproved jacket to “protect the research implant site.”

“Animals in the CDC’s laboratories are suffering and dying in agony—in experiments that the majority of Americans oppose, according to a Pew Research Center survey—because employees are apparently sloppy and incompetent,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “The CDC is charged with protecting Americans during the COVID-19 crisis, the worst pandemic in recent history, but can’t even run its own laboratories properly.”

AAALAC International, an independent accrediting body, placed the CDC on probation in 2005 after serious deficiencies were documented at every level, from basic housekeeping to poor husbandry practices to bad or nonexistent veterinary care.

Studies show that a staggering 90% of basic research, most of which involves animals and the type of work carried out at the CDC, fails to lead to treatments for humans.

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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