September 1, 2021

For Immediate Release:
September 1, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Blacksburg, Va. – Below, please find a statement from Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of laboratory investigations at PETA, regarding Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s (Virginia Tech) official warning from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) about its violations of federal animal welfare regulations.

Virginia Tech rakes in millions of dollars for experiments on animals but can’t manage to abide by minimal animal welfare regulations. A just-released report obtained by PETA reveals that the school has received an Official Warning from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) about one of six violations of federal animal welfare regulations found in June. Among other incidents, experimenters inflicted traumatic brain injuries on six miniature pigs, even though the experiment’s protocol had not been adequately vetted by the school’s animal experimentation oversight body. According to the USDA, “The first pig used died during the procedure and blood was noted on the intubation tube,” but the experimenters incompetently continued to subject the pigs to the procedure, blundering through numerous adjustments as pigs continued to die. Only two of the six pigs survived the experimenters’ ineptitude, and the survivors “exhibited abnormal neurological signs [including] ataxia (incoordination), weakness in all four limbs and mild/moderate mental depression. One pig was noted trembling.” In another incident, a cow suffered from heat stress and had difficulty standing because she didn’t have immediate access to shade. Virginia Tech should redirect its resources toward modern, non-animal research methodologies that will actually help humans, and we urge officials there to adopt PETA’s Research Modernization Deal.

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