For Immediate Release:
January 20, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Birmingham, Ala. – Please see PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo’s statement in response to news that pig kidneys were transplanted into a brain-dead human:
The University of Alabama–Birmingham (UAB), which has just stolen kidneys from a nonconsenting pig to put into a brain-dead human, is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for animal welfare violations. PETA filed a complaint with the agency in late 2020 after a whistleblower came forward with video footage of a baboon called Laja, who suffered for months after a pig’s kidney was put into her body. The whistleblower stated that the xenotransplantation laboratory failed to follow proper protocols for animal care, failed to comply with common veterinary standards, used expired or incorrect medications, and falsified veterinary-care records in order to hide its failure to relieve the animal’s suffering. Ripping organs out of one species and putting them into another is cruel and dangerous—the risk of transmitting unknown viruses with an animal is real, as the current pandemic has taught us—and in the case of UAB there is also a reported history of federal violations.