UMKC Killed ‘Non-Essential’ Animals in Taxpayer-Funded Tests; PETA Demands Audits of Waste

For Immediate Release:
February 17, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Kansas City, Mo.In letters sent this morning to several National Institutes of Health (NIH) agencies, the NIH Office of Management Assessment, and the Missouri state auditor, PETA calls on officials to audit the use of and recover wasted taxpayer funds of at least $1,765,008 that the University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC) used for experiments in which laboratories euthanized at least 55 animals deemed non-essential as part of the school’s COVID-19 ramp-down response.

PETA notes that documents newly obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests confirm that UMKC deemed animals used in taxpayer-funded experiments as noncritical and euthanized them per the school’s COVID-19 directive that urged staff to ramp down experiments in laboratories. PETA has also sent a letter to the school urging it to reimburse all taxpayer funds wasted in this animal purge.

“If UMKC can deem animals unnecessary and kill them in response to the COVID-19 purge in laboratories, then they should not have been bought, bred, trapped, or experimented on in the first place,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA calls on state and federal officials to audit the use of and recover taxpayer funds wasted on admittedly non-essential animal experiments at UMKC and on NIH to reinvest in animal-free research that advances human health.”

Based on the FOIA records, UMKC bred non-essential animals for crude experiments that induce debilitating eye injuries and expose animals to strenuous bone and muscle exertion, among other issues.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The group’s letters to state, federal, and university officials are available upon request. For more information, please visit 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