Thousands of humans have died.
The devastation, cordially provided by Hurricane Katrina, is continuously escalating as people truly realize how much they’ve lost–as the relief of surviving is wearing off, if that’s possible.
Billions of dollars in damage to universities, businesses, families and just about any other money-making party, and not to mention the loss of human life, are just a few of the effects Katrina has shown.
In the midst of the terror that is still prevalent in the affected areas, an animal rights group is suing Louisiana State University because of the number of animals that died in the flooding of the university’s Health Sciences Center in downtown New Orleans.
The group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, claims that the lab animals were simply left in their cages to die, and nothing was done to save them.
During the alleged “murder” of these animals, the Health Sciences Center’s hospital and medical school were being flooded with wounded hurricane victims. The Chronicle states that the center lacked food, water, electricity and doctors, as those helping vigorously attempted to keep patients alive. Even the doctors who worked in the animal labs were being called to tend to human victims because of a shortage of helping hands.
These doctors, students and nurses, after days of providing help to these victims, were able to shuffle all of them up eight flights of stairs to the roof, where they were transported out by helicopters.
While injured humans were being helped, thousands of animals were left in their cages and died.
PETA has included a number of accusations and requests in its case because of this alleged cruelty to animals.
These accusations and requests, according to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education include, but are not limited to:
“We believe that Louisiana State University officials must be charged with the cruel abandonment of the thousands of animals who drowned, suffocated, starved or died of dehydration in its laboratories,” stated a letter sent by PETA to the attorney general of Louisiana, Charles C. Foti, Jr.
PETA also claims that the university violated the Animal Welfare Act, a law that discusses treatment of animals used in research, and the dean of the medical school at LSU should be dismissed.
This animals rights group is practically accusing LSU of murder, even though the same center helped hundreds of people safely evacuate the area.
LSU has apparently been involved in animal refuge since this catastrophe began.
According to Cornell University’s news service, LSU has turned their John M. Parker Coliseum into a large-scale animal shelter, boarding more than 500 animals and expecting more as the relief effort unfolds.
The article says that since animals aren’t allowed in human shelters in the area, LSU set up the shelter to provide important care to hundreds of animals that would otherwise have nowhere to go.
Several different universities, including Cornell and Mississippi State, have sent faculty from their veterinary colleges to help LSU veterinary faculty in this effort.
PETA is suing LSU for the mistreatment of many animals out of ignorance and aggression. The university’s Health Science Center, clearly bombarded with injured humans, undoubtedly had a responsibility to take care of these people above anything else, even at the expense of many animals.
The death of an animal is not to be taken lightly, yet the life of a human should clearly be a higher priority.
This law suit is being brought against an institution that decided helping dying human victims survive was more important than anything, and an institution that, at the same time, is providing shelter to hundreds of homeless animals.