Stop the Mass Killing of Animals in University Labs!

Stop the Mass Killing of Animals in University Labs!

As universities around the world have shut down or drastically reduced operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, animals who were once the victims of torturous experiments in school laboratories are now having their lives snuffed out prematurely. All animal experiments are unethical and should be ended, starting with those that universities have admitted are “non-essential.” Demand that animal experimenting universities switch to cutting-edge animal-free research and send the animals to sanctuaries and caring homes!

Billions of taxpayer dollars fund laboratories that torture animals in gruesome, unimaginably painful experiments. The National Institute of Health spends roughly $20 billion in research, with the majority going to university research laboratories.

Animals trapped in laboratories, including mice, rats, cats, dogs, fish, and primates are exposed to test substances to determine lethal doses and side effects. They undergo agonizing, often life-threatening procedures without painkillers. They are starved, drowned, intentionally addicted to drugs, burned, and infected with diseases. Some animals are bred with genetic modifications to express specific diseases or traits, which may result in tumors, psychological disorders, blindness, and many other harmful symptoms.

Animal testing yields unreliable and inconclusive results. Members of one species of animals respond differently to test substances than members from other species, including humans. A new medication that is deemed safe and effective in rats may be harmful even to other rodents such as mice. Animals are very poor models for human disease and humans have been harmed by relying on data from animal tests.

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences indicates that 95% of new medications in development fail in human trials and never make it to market, despite being deemed safe and effective in some animal species beforehand.

Despite the tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars and senseless, unnecessary torture and death of animals in labs, many universities still engage in out-of-date animal testing instead of using innovative, animal-free methods that directly apply to human health.

Now, as work in laboratories has stopped or has been postponed due to a lack of staffing or resources during the pandemic, many animals in laboratories have been deemed non-essential for experiments and are being killed in large numbers. Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of California–San Diego, Washington State University, University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Michigan are among the institutions that are “reducing population numbers” of animals in their laboratories.

Tragically, animals who are currently held in university laboratories aren’t the only animals being harmed. In response to COVID-19 lab shutdowns, The Jackson Laboratory, a biomedical research institute based in Bar Harbor, Maine, has received a significant increase in requests for the cryopreservation of mouse sperm and embryos. The cells are frozen to preserve specific genetic strains are then used to produce mice with targeted genes or traits to be tortured in laboratory experiments.

What YOU Can Do:

Please contact the following universities to urge them to permanently eliminate “non-essential” animal experiments postponed due to COVID-19 and instead switch to innovative, reliable non-animal research methods. Also urge the administrations of these schools to send any animals remaining in their laboratories to accredited sanctuaries and caring homes where they can live out their lives in peace. 

1. Make a call to the university presidents and chancellors below. When you call, ask to speak with or leave a message for the president/chancellor. You may simply say:

“Please permanently eliminate the animal experiments you postponed due to COVID-19. The temporary shutdown of this research shows that these cruel experiments are not essential. There is no need to torture innocent animals and waste millions of taxpayer dollars on inconclusive tests when innovative, animal-free research methods exist. Please make every effort to place the remaining animals in your laboratories into caring homes or accredited sanctuaries. Thank you.”

Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack: (607) 255-5201

Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels: (410) 516-8068

Carnegie Mellon University, President Farnum Jahanian: (412) 268-2200

Harvard University, President Lawrence S. Bacow: (617) 495-1502

University of California, San Diego, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla: (858) 534-3135

Stanford University, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne: (650) 723-2481

Washington State University, President Kirk H. Schulz: (509) 335-4200

University of Pittsburgh, President Robert G. Gregerson:  (724) 836‐7980

University of Michigan, President Mark S. Schlissel: (734) 764-6270

2. Please send a letter to each of the individuals listed above by filling out the form on this page.

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