WASHINGTON — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has hit a new low, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom said today. In its zeal to tarnish the reputation of pet food manufacturers, the animal rights group is neglecting to mention its own sordid past. Public records released by the State of Virginia show that PETA itself has killed over 14,400 dogs and cats since 1998, including 90 percent of the animals it took in for “adoption” in 2005. The accidental deaths of a small number of animals pale in comparison to PETA’s much larger (and intentional) angel-of-death program.

Documents relating to PETA’s animal-killing program can be found at www.PETAkillsAnimals.com. In sworn testimony during the January 2007 animal-cruelty trial of two PETA employees, a PETA manager acknowledged that the organization has a walk-in freezer for the purpose of storing dead pets. She also acknowledged that PETA contracts with a Norfolk-area crematory service to dispose of the dead bodies, which measure over a ton each month.

“It’s astonishing but true,” said Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko. “PETA kills animals by the thousands. Why anyone continues to take this bunch of hypocrites seriously is beyond me.”

Martosko continued: “PETA’s president acknowledges that her group could stop playing Dr. Kevorkian with America’s pets and ‘become a no-kill shelter overnight.’ Of course, that would mean PETA could no longer afford to spend millions harassing pet food companies, restaurants, or medical researchers. That would be fine by us.”

Two more PETA employees face pending grand larceny charges in southern Virginia, related to the 2006 disappearance of a hunting dog and its radio-tracking collar. PETA has not yet indicated whether the dog in question was slated to be put to death.

For more information about PETA’s wide-ranging animal killing program, visit www.PETAkillsAnimals.com. For questions or to arrange an interview, please call J.P. Freire at (202) 463-7112.