TB-Infected Monkey Escapes Inside High-Biosecurity Fauci Agency Lab; PETA Demands Investigation

For Immediate Release:
November 2, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

WashingtonPETA has uncovered evidence of a biosecurity lapse inside an Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL-3) laboratory of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), overseen by Dr. Anthony Fauci. ABSL-3 laboratories are supposed to keep dangerous pathogens, such as anthrax and plague, as well as animals who are infected with them for experimental purposes, contained. Today, PETA rushed a letter to Fauci urging him to investigate NIAID’s failure to maintain biosecurity and its failure to properly euthanize the monkey involved.

Documents reveal that in March inside a NIAID laboratory in Bethesda, Maryland, a marmoset who had been infected with tuberculosis, which is transmissible to humans, escaped during a procedure and crawled into the HVAC system. Attempts to lure the monkey out were unsuccessful, and the following day, employees flooded the HVAC system with carbon dioxide, painfully and slowly gassing the marmoset to death. His lifeless body was then retrieved.

The World Health Organization reports that tuberculosis is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide and the second leading infectious killer, after COVID-19.

“This laboratory is supposed to cure and prevent disease, not spread it,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA is calling on Fauci and NIAID to end the use of animals in experiments or risk being the point of origin for the next pandemic.”

Studies show that roughly 95% of new drugs that test safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials. That may be why a bipartisan group of lawmakers recently wrote to the National Institutes of Health asking it to phase out animal experiments. The Research Modernization Deal, developed by PETA scientists, provides a blueprint for moving science into the 21st century.

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 PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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