PETA Statement: OHSU’s Violations of the Animal Welfare Act

For Immediate Release:
July 12, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Portland, Ore.

Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President Alka Chandna concerning U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documents showing that Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) was cited for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) after a ferret had to be euthanized following experimental brain surgery conducted by untrained personnel that caused him to experience “unexpected anatomical complications.” In addition, two other ferrets who had been used in the surgery were seen suffering—one seemed to have developed an infection, indicated by “a strong foul odor.” Veterinary staff had not been notified of the animals’ condition. In 2008, the USDA issued an official warning to OHSU following a complaint by PETA that inadequate veterinary care, neglect, and incompetence in the school’s laboratories had resulted in suffering and death for animals. In 2012, the USDA fined OHSU nearly $12,000 for repeated violations of the AWA—including for allowing nine monkeys to escape from the facility and various other incidents involving the deaths of five more monkeys as a result of dehydration, being injected with unapproved compounds, and improper procedures performed by an inadequately trained employee.

Unsterile surgeries, infected surgical sites, untrained staff, and denial of veterinary care are the latest despicable violations of animal protection laws at Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) laboratories. OHSU has a long history of incompetence, leading to multiple deaths, and the Department of Health and Human Services should pull its permission for the school to receive federal funding. Its current victims are ferrets, and they follow monkeys, who have sustained injuries and died as a result of employees’ carelessness. One monkey became trapped in PVC pipes and had to be euthanized, another slipped unnoticed behind cages hung on a wall and died, and there have been many other incidents. OHSU’s animal experimentation division is irreparably broken.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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