“were euthanized in early 2020, as the campus closed due to the coronavirus pandemic”
I have never been happier to not work in a university lab.
The College Fix reports:
Euthanizing mice during the pandemic shutdown cost Rutgers over $1 million
Putting up to 23,000 laboratory mice to death during the COVID-19 shutdown cost Rutgers University over $1 million, according to The Daily Targum.
The mice, which resided at the Rutgers Biological and Health Science laboratories, were euthanized in early 2020, as the campus closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On August 28 of 2020, Rutgers applied for a COVID-19 aid grant from the State of New Jersey. In the application document, the school itemized $30.8 million in pandemic-related losses that it was asking the state to reimburse.
Among these losses were $1.15 million in losses associated with euthanizing mice.
“Loss of research animals required for student/postdoc training,” the request reads. “RBHS was forced to eliminate 4,600 cages of mice, each containing an average of five mice. Assuming an average cost of $50/mice.”
It is unclear whether the loss is associated with the cost of killing and disposing of the mice or whether it reflects the value of the mice lost as an asset.
Initially the school’s Office of Research denied any mice were euthanized.
“In line with peer research universities across the nation, we prepared for multiple contingencies as part of our emergency pandemic response plan,” the office wrote to the Targum.
“This planning included a worse-case scenario that may have led to the euthanization of animals should the food and other critical supply chains have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Fortunately, there were no such disruptions and we never reached this stage of the emergency plan.”
But a Rutgers spokesperson later confirmed that mice had been euthanized and the school would be receiving $1.15 million in taxpayer-funded aid to compensate for the loss.
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