The University of Minnesota has a large and robust research facility. And, in the spirit of bettering humanity, non-human animals are often used for testing there.
According to PETA, these animals are being mistreated.
Well, mice and rats anyway.
How did PETA know where to look? 20 top American universities, including the U of M and plenty of elite East Coast schools like Yale, receive research grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH) that totaled upwards of $6 billion last year.
And, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, PETA has complete access to what goes on with that money.
PETA is acting as something of a self-appointed watchdog, making sure that these universities aren’t mistreating the test subjects bought and tested upon with national, taxpayer funds. Someone had to do it: The rodents have no other official protection under federal law.
And, after scouring those FOIA records it was discovered that the U of M ranks at the bottom of the barrel/at the top of the list of offenders with 60 violations, including failure to provide anesthetics and pain relief to animals, and plenty more.
(University of Pittsburgh ranked second with 53.)
Communications Director Dan Gilchrist defended the university’s practices: “When problems are reported, either as part of regular inspections by the U of M or federal regulators, or by investigators themselves, the involved researchers are required to provide responses to all findings and concerns to outline how they will address these issues in the future. To be clear, the reports in question have all been reported previously to University officials and addressed with researchers.”
PETA, for the record, remains unimpressed.
Read the PETA report here: New Study Documents Hundreds of Animal-Welfare Violations at Top Taxpayer-Funded Laboratories