Campus, Coronavirus, News

PETA calls out BU for animal treatment during pandemic

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Boston University President Robert Brown today urging the university to stop any ongoing animal testing and requesting information about their experiments involving animals.

PETA is an organization that, according to its website, is “dedicated to establishing and defending the rights of all animals.”

Specifically, PETA requested lists of all experiments, ongoing and ceased due to COVID-19, the number of animals currently in testing and the number of animals terminated thus far.

The group said it sent the letter in response to BU’s March 23 email, in which the university asked that research laboratories cease normal operations and continue “critical maintenance procedures that require regular attention in order to maintain laboratory viability.”

Rao Varanda, director of the Animal Science Center at BU Medical Center, announced in a memo March 26 that the university’s mandate meant “[ending] all non-critical work involving animals.” He also said that staff would remain on-site to tend to any animals that require maintenance.

PETA wrote in the letter that a cessation of animal testing would “likely lead to the destruction of many animals.”

Tasgola Bruner, media manager for Laboratory Investigations and Regulatory Testing for PETA, wrote in a press release shared with The Daily Free Press that the organization demands “to know why the school conducts noncritical animal experiments,” and wants BU’s data for animals the university “euthanizes.”

In the press release, Shalin Gala, vice president of PETA, was quoted condemning BU’s treatment of animals during the global pandemic.

“Boston University’s use of intelligent and sensitive animals in experiments as though they were nothing more than disposable laboratory equipment is shameful,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic should be a moral and scientific reckoning for the school, which conducts deadly experiments on animals it keeps inside small steel cages. If it can’t prove that the experiments are essential—and its response to the pandemic indicates that they’re not—it must not be permitted to continue squandering taxpayer money on them once the pandemic is over.”

PETA also released an Action Alert on their website, detailing the effects of COVID-19 on animal experimentation and asking that all research universities release the same information and adhere to the requests PETA asks of BU.

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  1. Animals are not laboratory equipment to use, abuse, and dispose of when they become inconvenient. They are living, feeling beings who have a right to live their lives. It’s time to switch to modern, advanced, non-animal research methods. These are where the real hope of treatments and cures lie.

  2. BU should join progressive scientists and end all experiments on animals. It’s bad science, unethical, and a waste of resources.

  3. Experimenters who cling to the archaic animal “model” as the gold standard of research are wasting precious time, resources, and lives—both human and animal. The university should use this time to invest in exciting and progressive non-animal methods.

  4. BU must join serious scientists and put an end to all experiments or testing on animals. There is no reason today to abuse, torture and kill innocent animals in the name of science!!! Read, research and inform yourselves. One day you will look back and be ashamed of what you have done in the name of science. You will wonder “what were we all thinking”. It is too bad that in the history of man, science has always been so slow to react to new, informed and serious discoveries. While you are doubting a new and humane way of achieving test results, animals are dying all around in cruel circumstances.