November 18, 2021

For Immediate Release:
November 18, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Today, PETA called on National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Program Integrity Director Deborah Kearse to investigate the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA)—which in FY2020 received $673,201,228 in funding from NIH, part of which may have supported animal testing—for apparently wasting taxpayer funds on tests on animals whom experimenters deemed extraneous and killed.

The group’s request follows an article in a university media outlet reporting that although there was no university directive to euthanize animals, some experimenters killed their animal populations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The school’s actions mirror decisions by other universities across the country, such as Rutgers University, which reportedly killed 23,000 mice slated to be used in experiments deemed “non-essential” while also receiving $1.15 million in state taxpayer funds as compensation for destroying the animals.

“If UCLA and other schools can deem tests noncritical, the animals shouldn’t have been there in the first place and taxpayers shouldn’t have footed the bill,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on NIH to launch an investigation and recover taxpayer funds wasted on admittedly non-essential animal experiments.”

PETA notes that calling animals “unnecessary,” “non-essential,” “noncritical,” or “extraneous” or using other similar terminology to describe them should raise significant red flags—particularly given the widespread euthanasia of such animals—regarding why such experiments were approved and funded in the first place.

PETA’s letter is available upon request. 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 or follow it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.