PETA Uncovers Starving, Strangling, and Scalding of Animals at UW

Group Demands End to Laboratories’ Federal Funding

For Immediate Release:
May 4, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


PETA has obtained documents revealing flagrant, ongoing violations of federal animal welfare guidelines in the University of Washington’s laboratories, including at its Washington National Primate

Research Center. Among other incidents, workers’ negligence resulted in the starvation deaths of dozens of mice and the dehydration deaths of dozens more. Experimenters allowed a monkey to strangle to death, caused hundreds of fish to die of asphyxiation, scalded 18 rats to death in a high-temperature equipment sterilizer, and caused a monkey to bleed to death. The tips of the tails of 22 mice were cut off without any pain relief. A monkey choked on his own vomit and died after being subjected to surgery without having been properly fasted.

In all, the records reveal 77 violations of federal guidelines and regulations reported between November 2017 and March 2021.

In response, PETA sent a letter this morning to Patricia Brown, director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, urging her to revoke UW’s Public Health Service Animal Welfare Assurance, without which the school could not receive NIH funding.

“UW has demonstrated that it is unwilling or unable to comply with the minimal animal welfare guidelines stipulated by law,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Our tax dollars—more than half a billion dollars last year—shouldn’t be funding UW’s lethally negligent and incompetent experimenters.”

The documents also reveal that UW staff allowed monkeys to escape, leading to injuries including an amputated arm, and dosed animals incorrectly, including by giving mice 1,000 times the amount of influenza virus they were supposed to receive, resulting in their deaths.

UW’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)—which is supposed to ensure compliance with federal laws and guidelines—has been mired in controversy over conflicts of interest among its members, who include the CEO and board members of an organization that received funding to promote animal experimentation. Last month, the IACUC didn’t even meet, stating that there was nothing on its agenda.

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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