Whistleblower Photos Show Animal Suffering And Death At Tel Aviv University

PETA Calls for Investigation of Laboratory Where Mice, Rats, and Other Small Animals Were Allegedly Left to Rot in Filthy Cages

For Immediate Release:
August 29, 2016

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Tel Aviv, IsraelPETA filed a formal complaint this morning calling on Israel’s National Council for Animal Experimentation and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate Tel Aviv University for alleged violations of Israel’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Law and U.S. Public Health Service animal-care guidelines.

The complaint is based on a whistleblower’s report, which includes photos and video footage and alleges that mice, rats, degus, gerbils, spiny mice, and other small animals at the university’s I. Meier Segals Garden for Zoological Research were left to suffer in 100-degree heat  in overcrowded, filthy cages without water, adequate ventilation, or veterinary care. Dead animals were reportedly left to rot inside cages with their still-living family members, unwanted newborn animals were left out in the heat to die, and unwanted adult animals were gassed to death in large numbers.

The university is registered with the U.S. Public Health Service and is eligible to receive funding from NIH for animal studies. Currently, NIH is funding two studies totaling $400,000.

“Tel Aviv University is obligated under the law to provide these vulnerable, sensitive living beings with decent housing, clean food and water, and veterinary care,” says Dr. Alka Chandna, PETA senior laboratory oversight specialist. “PETA is calling on U.S. and Israeli authorities to investigate whether Tel Aviv University is cruelly and illegally neglecting these small, vulnerable animals.”

According to the whistleblower’s report, the university confined as many as 30 animals in a space no larger than a sheet of typing paper. Small cages for mice contained up to 50 animals. Cages throughout the facility were filled with dirt, dander, and animals’ waste that had accumulated up to six inches deep, causing a foul stench. In addition, animals left without veterinary care included one with a bone-deep wound on his leg and a very thin gerbil with an open wound on his scalp who struggled to breathe.

Photographs and videos can be viewed here. PETA’s complaint to Israel’s National Council for Animal Experimentation and NIH is available here

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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