University of Delaware Urged to Fix Budget Woes By Ending Animal Tests

Instead of Suspending Employment, School Should Nix Cruel and Wasteful Child Abuse Experiments on Rats, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
May 14, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Newark, Del. – After the University of Delaware (UD) announced plans to implement a hiring freeze, suspend discretionary funding, and slash salaries because of the financial strain of COVID-19, PETA fired off a letter offering the school a better way to cut costs: end its wasteful animal experimentation program, starting with Tania Roth’s deadly child abuse experiments on rats.

Roth has surgically severed the spines of baby rats, terrified pregnant rats by squeezing them into tubes and bombarding them with strobe lights, and subjected rats to the “forced swim” test, in which they’re dropped into a water-filled beaker and must swim for their lives. These and similar experiments have continued for over 20 years but have not resulted in any meaningful treatment for human children who are abused.

“UD should drop cruel experiments on animals, not staff,” says PETA neuroscientist Dr. Katherine Roe. “Now that COVID-19 restrictions have already halted animal experiments, the school should let go of these archaic practices and promote cost-effective, human-relevant science instead.”

UD has repeatedly violated federal animal welfare guidelines, including by allowing a rat to drown during a forced swim test; withholding food from 23 rats, who lost nearly 15% of their bodyweight in just nine days; and allowing smoke from a fire to pour into a room in which 75 rats were caged, causing all of them to die.

Numerous published studies have shown that animal experimentation wastes resources and lives, as 95% of new medications that are found to be effective in animals fail in human clinical trials.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. The group’s full letter to the university is available here. For more information, please visit

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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