Ask Congress to ban breeding while labs are closed due to COVID-19

Please note: Congress requires that all signers provide a current U.S. address. Those outside the U.S. can sign a similar letter here.

As shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic extend indefinitely, universities and private laboratories are dealing with ongoing staff shortages and delayed research by killing thousands upon thousands of animals, mostly mice and rats. 

Yet as thousands of animals continue to be massacred, laboratories outrageously continue to breed more.  CAARE’s previous request to NIH’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) asking for a breeding ban during the pandemic has been ignored, and we are now asking Congress to intervene.


Please send your polite letter to ask Congress to require NIH to halt all breeding programs while universities carry out mass killings of animals.

Universities have defended the use of animals in research as essential to medical progress but are now killing them by the tens of thousands.

Laura J. Knoll, PhD of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health states “They want us to get the numbers down as much as possible in the facilities.”  She said roughly two-thirds of her mouse population was “euthanized,” a euphemism for mass carnage, typically by carbon dioxide suffocation or neck-breaking.  


Likewise, Emory University reports that 10 – 15% of its animals have been slaughtered and Cornell University has killed approximately 10% of mice and rats at its facility.

Continuing to breed mice while thousands are being simultaneously exterminated during the pandemic is not just nonsensical and wasteful, it also exposes a profound disregard for life.  These mass executions are taken in stride by lab staff who refer to them as “saccing,” short for sacrificing.

One report from the University of Pennsylvania describes numbing quantities of live mice placed into specialized chambers, where animals die as their lungs are burned by CO2 gas and they slowly suffocate.

The grim process is detailed here by one research technician: “It’s actually very simple. You take their cages, take off the tops, put it in a machine called the Euthan-X — which I have a lot of feelings about, but it’s essentially just a CO2 chamber. And you turn the button on, and you wait for 20 minutes to half an hour, and they die.”

Laboratory staff may be immune to this mass carnage of animals’ lives, but the public must not stand for it. Please tell Congress that breeding programs must be immediately banned while atrocious mass killings of lab animals are occurring. 

Thank you for speaking out for animals in labs today!

Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research (CAARE), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established to highlight and promote research without animals.


Please donate to support CAARE’s mission to end animal suffering by disseminating information about the power and progress of research without animals.


Showing 1 reaction

  • Jennifer Hunter
    published this page in Action Alerts 2020-05-21 11:30:25 -0400