The Cruelty & Risk of Viruses of Pig Kidney Transplants: PETA Statement

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.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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