PETA Uncovers Secret Animal-Care Violations at Cleveland Clinic

For Immediate Release:
August 30, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Cleveland – PETA has just obtained damning federal documents revealing that while the Cleveland Clinic publicly denied the employee negligence and animal misery documented in PETA’s six-month undercover investigation into the institute, it privately reported multiple other violations of federal animal welfare guidelines to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

These are among the incidents documented between 2018 and 2021: Workers confined mice to “overcrowded” cages—which can cause deadly fighting among the stressed animals—and experimenters repeatedly deviated from approved protocols, including by inoculating mice with bacteria and injecting them with tumor cells, applying depilatories to their skin, causing them to develop lesions, and cutting off the ends of their tails without adequate pain relief.

In a letter sent this morning, PETA urges NIH Director of the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare Patricia Brown to withdraw the Public Health Service Animal Welfare Assurance granted to the Cleveland Clinic, without which it cannot receive funding from NIH. The agency awarded nearly $397 million in taxpayer funds to the Cleveland Clinic from 2018 to 2021 alone.

“These reports reveal a culture of indifference at the Cleveland Clinic, where experimenters evidently can’t even be bothered to give mice food and water,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA is calling on NIH to stop pouring taxpayer dollars down the drain at this sloppy, callous institution.”

PETA notes that NIH policy requires grant recipients to comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, which the Cleveland Clinic has evidently ignored.

According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, a majority of Americans oppose all experiments on animals. Studies show that a staggering 90% of basic research, most of which involves animals and the type of work carried out at the Cleveland Clinic, 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, on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit 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