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PETA and their continuous issue: Is there a safe space left for animals?

Joel Molina
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, along with other universities, were called out on Oct. 26 by PETA as they exposed a mass killing spree of animals.

Recent revelations sparked outrage and concern as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) exposed a mass killing spree of animals, Oct. 26 in universities, including here at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, PETA is calling on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate and take action on newly obtained public records.  

PETA’s mission is to oppose speciesism and draw attention to industries that exploit animals where they suffer the most in industries like the fashion industry, food, laboratories and entertainment business.   

Records obtained by PETA unveiled the shocking practices of several universities during the pandemic, including Texas Tech–El Paso campus.  Evidence suggests animals, considered nonessential to experiments were euthanized in masse by experimenters like Chris Boehm, who works in El Paso.  

In a discussion thread dated March 22, 2020, Boehm admitted to euthanizing approximately 80 percent of his training colony during the laboratory restrictions imposed due to the pandemic. This revelation led PETA to demand a comprehensive investigation into these practices.  

PETA’s letter to NIH goes beyond a mere demand for an investigation. It also urges the agency to stop wasting taxpayer money on animal experiments that are proven to be futile and cruel. This plea follows prior complaints made by PETA regarding similar animal killing sprees in 14 other universities. The letter stated the death toll of animals in these laboratories amounted to at least 25,000 and $9 million in NIH funding misused during this period. 

“University labs across the country deemed thousands of animals ‘unnecessary’ to their research, which begs the question why any of these animals were bought, bred, and experimented on in the first place,” said PETA Vice President, Shalin Gala. “PETA is urging NIH to investigate this shameful mass killing spree and is calling on universities to adopt superior, animal-free research so that animals’ lives and taxpayers’ dollars are no longer wasted.” 

PETA advocates for a shift towards superior, animal-free research methods, ensuring  animals lives and taxpayers dollars are not  wasted.  

The issue of mass animal euthanization during the pandemic highlights a broader concern: the continued use of animals in laboratory experiments. Each year, millions of animals, including mice, are subjected to horrific experiments,  pain, distress and trauma. Studies reveal   90 percent of basic research   involves animal testing and those tests have failed to , failing  to lead to treatments or benefits for humans. 

“I don’t think it’s fair for the animals to be mistreated,” said UTEP student, Linda Espinoza. “There are other ways to carry out experiments in which no living beings have to suffer.” 

 NIH allocates nearly half of its annual budget to animal studies, amounting to a  financial burden on taxpayers. This revelation raises the question of whether  funds can be used more efficiently for research with a better chance of producing real-world benefits. 

The exposure of a ‘mass killing spree’ of animals in universities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Texas Tech–El Paso,  shocked and concerned  animal rights activists and  citizens alike. PETA’s call for a thorough NIH investigation and a halt to taxpayer money being wasted on animal experiments underscores the urgency of the situation. 

Some would argue it is time  institutions reconsider their reliance on animal testing and embrace more ethical, efficient and effective research methods. As it could save  countless animals and  financial resources of taxpayers  making it essential to address this issue promptly and comprehensively. 

Angelica Gutierrez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]/ 

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About the Contributors
Angelica Gutierrez
Angelica Gutierrez, Contributor/Reporter
Angelica Gutierrez is a sophomore at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is a contributor for The Prospector. She wants to integrate into the film industry as a writer and director.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Contributor/Photographer
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photo contributor and began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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