PETA Urges Inspector General to Investigate Botched NIH-Funded Animal Experiments at UCLA

For Immediate Release:
April 16, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Los Angeles

PETA is calling for an investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General now that the federal agency charged with policing animal experimentation facilities has failed to adequately address a string of alarming animal welfare violations—including the deaths of mice in laboratories at the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) and repeated incidents of noncompliance at several other institutions funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In a letter sent today, PETA lays out the case for an investigation by the HHS inspector general due to the failure of NIH, an agency under the HHS umbrella, to take meaningful action against the institutions that NIH’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) has failed to investigate properly.

“The failure of NIH to take action for critical violations of federal animal welfare policy is deeply concerning and allows institutions like UCLA to continue endangering animals in laboratories with impunity and at taxpayers’ expense,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on the inspector general to investigate these serious matters along with the disturbing pattern of cruelty to animals at various institutions and to take meaningful corrective action.”

PETA obtained federal case reports that document three incidents at UCLA between June and September 2020, in which staff failed to ensure that mice and rats were dead after a euthanasia procedure and left them in a freezer meant for dead animals while they were still alive. OLAW’s inadequate handling of these cases further demonstrates that it has completely failed to deter repeated incidents of callous negligence.

Despite this, NIH has lavished UCLA with  $1,265,284,442 in federal taxpayer money since 2022.

OLAW has also failed in its oversight of several other institutions—including Cleveland Clinic, The Jackson Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the Washington and Wisconsin national primate research centers—as outlined in PETA’s letter to the HHS Office of Inspector General.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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