For Immediate Release:
October 14, 2021
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Charlottesville, Va. – Please see the following statement from PETA regarding statements made by the director of the University of Virginia’s (UVA) Center for Comparative Medicine to Science:
Sanford Feldman, who oversees animal experiments at UVA, has been revealed as unfit for the job. While a consultant to Moulton Chinchilla Ranch—a chinchilla breeding mill in Minnesota where the animals were denied veterinary care for painful injuries and metal collars became embedded in their necks—Feldman dismissed animal welfare concerns, falsely stating that the chinchillas there were not “suffering terribly.” Federal inspections and, later, an undercover investigation showed that they were. He likened the persistent, ongoing animal welfare violations at Moulton – which were so severe that the federal government just permanently revoked the owner’s license – to “doing 26 in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.” Feldman’s comments are scandalous, given that he oversees the welfare of the hundreds of rabbits, prairie voles, sheep, pigs, ferrets, mice, rats, and other animals experimented on in UVA’s laboratories. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the university was cited in May by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations related to deficiencies in the functioning of its oversight body. The agency considers such violations grave, as they indicate a breakdown in the system of institutional oversight, a crucial factor in ensuring adherence to minimal legal provisions for animal welfare. Feldman should be removed from his position immediately.