PETA Urges NIH to Yank Funding From UC-Berkeley After Two Bats Were Scalded to Death

For Immediate Release:
April 28, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Berkeley, Calif. – Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna regarding an incident in which two bats died after being trapped in a cage that was run through a high-temperature cage washer at a University of California–Berkeley laboratory:

UC-Berkeley doesn’t deserve one more penny of taxpayer money after staff negligence claimed yet more animal lives, this time causing almost unimaginable pain, fear, and agony. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, laboratory staff failed to follow the school’s own standard operating procedures and simply looked into a cage in an attempt to ensure that all bats had been removed. As a result, two bats who had been missed and remained inside were scalded to death when the cage was run through a high-temperature washer. These sentient beings, who are fully capable of feeling pain, endured water temperatures of at least 180 degrees before dying. If UC-Berkeley laboratory staff are incapable of following even their own SOPs, the school doesn’t deserve the more than $144 million in taxpayer money it received from the National Institutes of Health in 2022. PETA has filed an official complaint with the agency, urging it to withdraw its funding.

This is only the latest in a string of USDA citations, prompting PETA to take action against UC-Berkeley. In May 2022, we filed a complaint after a young monkey suffocated and died when their neck became entangled in a loop of chain. In June 2022, two monkeys became dehydrated after staff failed to remember to give them water. And in October 2019, inappropriate handling left a bat crippled. UC-Berkeley received more than $144 million in taxpayer money from the National Institutes of Health in 2022. If staff cannot or will not even maintain minimum standards of animal care, they have no right to taxpayer money.

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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