For Immediate Release:
March 15, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) critical citations of Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act in numerous incidents in which experimenters disregarded federal laws and regulations, resulting in increased suffering and the deaths of chinchillas and monkeys:
Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) has failed to meet even the meager standards of the federal Animal Welfare Act, which are meagre at best and non-existent for some animal species. In less than two years, EVMS has amassed four critical violations for its neglect and mistreatment of baboons, chinchillas, and now macaque monkeys. One monkey was deprived of emergency medical attention for seven hours, “remained barely responsive,” and was paralyzed. The animal was then killed, and 11 other monkeys were used in the same procedure, with EVMS experimenters again failing to monitor the animals or provide them with necessary medical attention.
Other EVMS experimenters used chinchillas for 21 months in an experiment that was only approved to run for 22 weeks. The animals wasted away—their weight plummeting well past the specified limit of 20%, as they lost up to 30% of their bodyweight.
EVMS received $31.2 million from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2021 and more than $7 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) last year. PETA has filed a formal complaint with NIH, calling on the agency to turn off the money spigot to the school.
EVMS was one of five public universities that lobbied against HB 2348, SB 1230, SB 1271, and HB 2042—bills introduced during General Assembly Session 2023 intended to implement transparency and accountability for publicly funded institutions that still use animals in experiments.
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