Spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, animal rights organization PETA is calling for Cornell to shut down its animal testing and release information on “tax-payer funded experiments deemed ‘nonessential.’”
In a letter sent to President Martha E. Pollack on Wednesday, PETA claimed that Weill Cornell Medicine is encouraging researchers to flag all essential animal cages and not to exceed 60 percent of their census as of March 1.
While WCM does not specify on its COVID-19 contingency plan website what it would do with the remaining nonessential animals, PETA claimed that WCM will “start destroying animals who are considered not ‘essential’ to the university’s experiments.”
“If Cornell does a sloppy, substandard job of caring for animals in fully staffed laboratories, nothing good can be expected amid a pandemic,” said PETA Vice President Shalin Gala in a press release.
The University did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
The letter goes on to list a litany of complaints against Cornell’s animal practices. PETA further claimed that the University deviated from approved protocols, administered contaminated vaccines which led to the death of 19 mice, gave other expired drugs like anesthesia to more than 900 mice and failed to provide complete records of its animal care.
At the end of the letter, Gala implored Pollack to contact PETA on “this quickly developing and urgent matter.”