University of Toronto’s COVID-19 Plan Prompts PETA Anger

One Experimenter Said, 'Due to Lab Closures and #COVID-19, I Have to Cull Around 100+ Rats'

For Immediate Release:
April 7, 2020

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Toronto – Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of Toronto has announced that only “critical COVID-19 related research and time-sensitive critical projects” will continue—and one experimenter has said that “due to lab closures and #COVID-19, I have to cull around 100+ rats.”

PETA fired off a letter today to the university’s president, Meric Gertler, demanding to know why the school conducts noncritical animal experiments.

The University of Toronto needs to stop all current and new animal experiments, ban the breeding and purchase of animals, and switch to superior human-relevant research methods. The school also needs to tell taxpayers how many animals it deemed extraneous and killed in response to COVID-19.

“The University of Toronto’s use of intelligent animals in experiments as though they were nothing more than disposable laboratory equipment is shameful,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “The COVID-19 pandemic should be a moral and scientific reckoning for the school, which conducts deadly experiments on animals. If the university can’t prove that the animals used in its experiments are needed—which we know it can’t—it shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer money on them.”

Numerous published studies have shown that animal experimentation wastes resources and lives, as more than 90% of highly promising results from basic scientific research—much of it involving animal experimentation—fail to lead to treatments for humans. (Please read under “Lack of benefit for humans” here.) And 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. For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.

PETA’s letter to the university is available here.

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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