People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent letters to several U.S. politicians Monday urging them to cut funding for the National Institutes of Health, an organization that funds animal research at many universities across the country, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In the letters, PETA condemns UW-Madison among other universities—including Columbia University and the University of California-San Francisco—for conducting “costly” research studies which “do nothing to advance human health” when the money could be spent on “safe” research.
PETA criticizes a UW-Madison research project that allegedly costs more than $330,000 and injects pure alcohol into chicken eggs to observe how alcohol exposure affects the chicks, according to the letters.
“UW-Madison takes its responsibility for the humane use of animals in research with the utmost seriousness,” Chancellor David Ward said in a statement in September 2011. “Alternatives are used whenever possible and all research is subject to strict regulations governing animal care and comfort.”
According to PETA, half of the NIH’s budget of $30 billion is devoted to research that PETA deems “cruel” and “contribute[s] to the country’s expanding deficit.”