USDA Rejects Emory’s Requests for Expunged Cruelty Record, Following Request From PETA

For Immediate Release:
March 21, 2022

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Atlanta – In a win for transparency and accountability, documents just obtained by PETA reveal that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) denied repeated requests from Emory University to remove animal welfare citations from federal inspection reports of the school’s laboratories. The decision to maintain the records accurately followed a request from PETA and is a win for the public, as last year Emory received more than $479 million in taxpayer-funded grants from the National Institutes of Health, an estimated half of which funded experiments on animals.

Initially, the USDA had cited Emory affiliate Yerkes National Primate Research Center for failing to provide three monkeys with adequate veterinary care. But the university appealed the inspection report, making its case for why a geriatric mangabey suffered from reddened skin and hair loss running the length of her spine and tail and why a pregnant macaque was 95% bald (as observed by the USDA). The USDA rescinded the citations until PETA appealed, after which the agency reinstated a citation regarding a macaque with a large, open wound on her leg.

Last year, Emory was cited for an incident in which a weanling spiny mouse died from trauma after an employee reattached a feeder without noticing that the mouse was pinned between the feeder and the cage wall. The university appealed again, but the USDA rejected the appeal, writing, “The citation … will remain as written on the inspection report.”

“In a shocking display of entitlement, Emory thought it could hide cruel and illegal activities from the same public it expects to foot the bill,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “The public has every right to know about the horrors animals endure in laboratories, and PETA urges the USDA to continue holding Emory accountable.”

At Yerkes, monkeys have died from starvation, strangulation, suffocation, heatstroke, asphyxiation from their own vomit, self-mutilation, being scalded to death after a cage was placed in an automated washer with the animal remaining inside, trauma and shock, and sepsis. The USDA previously investigated Emory and Yerkes after PETA complained that a surgical sponge had remained in a female monkey’s body for four months after staff had subjected her to a C-section surgery. In addition, a rhesus macaque died after being injected with a substance that caused the animal to go into anaphylactic shock.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on the group’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org 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