Did the animal rights organization kill 30,000 animals?

The animal rights organization Peta USA is said to have killed almost 30,000 animals in the past eleven years. Animal rights activists are outraged, since Peta is actually committed to the rights and lives of animals. Now the animal rights organization sees itself exposed to criticism from many animal lovers.

Peta in the pillory: Did the animal rights organization kill 30,000 animals?  — Image: Shutterstock / johannviloria

Peta in the pillory: Did the animal rights organization kill 30,000 animals? — Image: Shutterstock / johannviloria

The allegations are overwhelming: Peta is said to have killed almost 90 percent of the animals entrusted to her, mostly dogs and cats, at her headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia in the course of 2012. This is now unanimously reported by several German newspapers such as the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, “Die Zeit” and the “Focus”. The report is based on information from the Virginia Department of Agriculture, according to which 1,877 animals were admitted to peta shelters in the state last year, of which 1,675 were euthanized. In total, more than 29,000 animals are said to have died from PETA in the last eleven years.

Peta animal shelters: euthanizing instead of mediating?

“They claim to fight for the rights of animals. But they don’t give animals the right to live. Instead, they supposedly want to kill the animals ‘as painlessly’ as possible, even if that wasn’t necessary,” claims American animal rights activist Nathan Vinograd. His article published in the “Huffington Post” started the serious allegations against Peta.

Allegations against Peta are not new

As early as 2010, the meat and tobacco industry advocacy group Center for Consumer Freedom released a report from the Department of Agriculture showing that the shelter at Peta’s headquarters lacked space and no effort had been made to allow the animals to be adopted facilitate. 90 percent of the animals are said to have been killed within 24 hours of their arrival at PETA because they were classified as ‘unplaceable’.

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What Peta says about the allegations

“There is nothing secret or revealing about it. Peta does not admit anything, but transmits these figures to the responsible authority itself,” says Edmund Haferbeck, consultant at sister organization Peta Germany, to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Peta also comments on the allegations on its website. A Peta spokesman said the organization’s shelters only euthanize animals that were “sick, injured, aggressive or unplaceable.” “Four to six million animals are given up in the USA every year,” reports PETA campaign manager Nadja Kutscher. There are too many to pass on each animal.

Peta: No-kill shelters only accept healthy animals

Nevertheless, the accusatory animal lovers seem to think that the proportion of animals that are passed on is very low – too low? The question that remains to be answered is: Are the animal shelters really overcrowded so dramatically that euthanasia is unavoidable? Peta also provides a possible answer on its website. There the organization refers to the two concepts of animal shelters that are common in the USA. So-called “no-kill animal shelters” would not put any animals to sleep, but they would not even take in sick or behaviorally disturbed animals because they could not be placed. Even healthy animals are often not accepted because the facilities are chronically overcrowded.

Peta promises death without pain

The animal rights organization, on the other hand, would not reject any animal. However, since there are comparatively many stray animals in some states, sick and behaviorally disturbed animals in particular cannot be placed. Euthanasia is therefore usually the only way to enable these animals to die without suffering. At Peta, this procedure would be performed exclusively by veterinarians, with no pain to the animals. For this, however, the organization accuses other animal shelters that would instead gas, shoot or let other cruel deaths die sick and unplaceable animals.

Targeted by lobbyists?

The fact that Peta repeatedly hits the headlines because of euthanasia in its own animal shelters is, according to its own statements, mainly due to interest groups in the meat and tobacco industries, of which the above-mentioned association “Center for Consumer Freedom” would particularly stand out.

In any case, the controversy surrounding American animal shelters has now been exacerbated by the allegations against Peta. From the point of view of all animal lovers, it remains to be hoped that the focus of this discussion will remain primarily on the welfare of the animals.

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