University of Utah Repeatedly Violates Animal-Welfare Regulations, Kills Animals

PETA and Student Organization Ask School Officials to Stop Rogue Experimenters From Using Animals Again, Demand Repayment of Federal Grants Totaling More Than $2.5 Million

For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2017

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Salt Lake City – PETA and Students for Animal Welfare (SAW), a university-recognized student organization, are requesting that the University of Utah yank the “privileges” of experimenters that, records show, have caused the suffering and painful deaths of rabbits, lambs, and monkeys in violation of federal animal-welfare guidelines. PETA’s complaints reference the following incidents, which violated federal law and/or grant guidelines:

  • Twenty lambs were given “pulmonary function tests,” killing one, even though the experiments had not been approved by the oversight body.
  • Two rabbits endured prolonged deaths during euthanasia using a procedure that the American Veterinary Medical Association has expressly said is “unacceptable” under any circumstances.
  • A marmoset monkey suffered and died after experimenters decided to continue with a highly invasive 14-hour brain surgery, despite having failed to insert an IV catheter.

In addition to demanding that the school take punitive action against the experimenters, PETA is also asking that the federal agencies that funded these experiments demand repayment of more than $2.5 million in grant money wasted during the periods of noncompliance.

“University of Utah’s experimenters’ rogue, fumbling actions resulted in animals enduring drawn-out, painful deaths,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling for these apparently incompetent experimenters to be stripped of their funding and to have all their ‘animal use privileges’ revoked by the university’s oversight committee immediately.”

PETA notes that the school’s history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) includes a 2016 incident in which a macaque monkey was negligently burned during a surgical procedure and subsequently euthanized. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued the university an Official Warning for the incident, referencing its “repeated failure” to oversee its experiments in an adequate manner.

In 2009, PETA released video footage from its eyewitness investigation of the school’s laboratories. As a result of this investigation, the USDA cited the university for multiple violations of the AWA

PETA’s complaints are available upon request. For more information, please click here or visit

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Media Response Team.


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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