Mouse Bursts Into Flames in Baylor Laboratory; PETA Demands Action

For Immediate Release:
January 23, 2023

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Houston – PETA is calling on Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) to take immediate action against experimenters for 14 federal animal welfare violations in the college’s laboratories, including an incident in which a mouse caught fire during surgery.

In a letter sent today, PETA urges BCM President Paul Klotman to bar the experimenters responsible from all the school’s animal laboratories for the incompetence and carelessness that harmed more than 215 animals.

The violations occurred between January and August 2022. Among the most serious was an incident in which two mice were scalded to death when their cage was sent through a high-temperature washer, according to federal records PETA obtained.

BCM experimenters also severely burned a mouse during surgery when the tool they were using ignited a fire, failed to provide mice used in invasive surgeries with adequate pain relief, failed to clean cages for seven months, and failed to have alarms in place to notify workers that a city water supply line had burst, leading to the deaths of 26 zebrafish.

“BCM experimenters have apparently never met a rule they wouldn’t break, and vulnerable animals have endured excruciating deaths as a result,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA is calling on Klotman to take immediate action and fix this disastrous situation before another animal languishes in pain on his watch.”

BCM received more than $351 million in taxpayer money from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2021. Roughly half of that money funded animal tests.

In March 2022, after learning that NIH documented 78 federal animal welfare violations in BCM labs between February 2019 and June 2021, PETA filed a complaint with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office alleging violations of Texas’ prohibitions against cruelty to animals and calling on the district attorney to investigate BCM’s conduct and pursue all appropriate charges.

Numerous published studies have shown that animal experimentation wastes resources and lives, as 95% of new medications that are found to be safe and effective in animals go on to fail in human clinical trials.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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