PETA Uncovers Starving Mice, Dehydration Deaths in Brown University Laboratories

For Immediate Release:
July 6, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Providence, R.I.

PETA has just uncovered flagrant and ongoing violations of federal animal welfare guidelines in Brown University’s laboratories, prompting the group to send a letter today to school President Christina Paxson asking that she implement a zero-tolerance policy for animal welfare violations to address the incompetence and chronic neglect evident in the school’s treatment of animals. Specifically, PETA has asked her to revoke experimentation privileges from experimenters who fail to comply with directives from veterinary staff. In all, the records reveal 23 violations between March 2019 and April 2021—nearly one violation per month.

Among other incidents, records documented that eight mice starved to death and 12 died of dehydration, a mouse survived carbon dioxide gassing and woke up in a refrigerator intended for dead animals, a mouse was found with a tumor exceeding the university’s own size limits, and the experimenters failed to euthanize animals in a timely manner, resulting in finding a mouse in a “moribund state”—likely with labored breathing, sunken eyes, and the inability to reach food or water.

“The agony of dying of starvation or thirst is the same whether the victim is a mouse, a monkey, or a man,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA is calling on Brown’s president to step up and address this widespread callousness before incompetent experimenters kill more animals.”

The documents also reveal that several experimenters deviated from protocols approved by the university’s oversight body, such as by failing to monitor animals after they’d been used in surgery. PETA contacted Brown about animal welfare violations four years ago, pointing to incidents in which monkeys and ferrets had escaped from their cages after workers failed to secure the enclosures properly and bats starved to death after workers failed to feed them. Last year, at the start of the pandemic, PETA called for transparency from Brown after the school urged experimenters to start “ramping down research activities,” which would have meant killing hundreds of animals in its laboratories. Yet the university still received over $100 million in taxpayer money last year, with about half of that allocated to animal experimentation.

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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