Animal associations

Florida Congressman Demands End to ‘Incredibly Cruel Animal Experiments’

Lawmakers continue to push the National Institute of Health (NIH) over what have been described as “incredibly cruel animal experiments” based on documents obtained by a watchdog group that monitors government spending.

Legislation introduced by Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) Aug. 10 proposes to ban NIH experiments on dogs paid for with taxpayer dollars.

“The NIH uses more than $40 billion in taxpayer dollars each year to fund its research projects, including many recent and cruel examples using dogs,” Steube said in a statement about the legislation. “Americans do not want to allow the heinous abuse of puppies and dogs in the name of research. My legislation will cut every penny of NIH federal funding for these ruthless canine experiments.

Ever since the White Coat Waste Project (WCW) brought to the public attention experiments that involved anesthetizing dogs and cutting their vocal cords so they couldn’t make noise when experimented on and while ‘they’re in their cages, Steube has been a vocal critic of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

In a 2021 opinion piece, Steube said, “Between his mishandling of COVID-19 and the incredibly cruel animal testing, this man must be held accountable – and he must step down immediately.”

“It seems Fauci has a habit of silencing those who protest his actions since he has also silenced millions of Americans who opposed his draconian COVID-19 restrictions,” Steube said. “At least Fauci couldn’t cut our vocal cords to silence us.”

A rare response

The information found in the documents prompted lawmakers to send letters to Fauci and introduce legislation that, until July 2022, seemed to go unnoticed by the NIH.

In July 2022, WCW reported confirmation from Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) that Fauci’s NIH division had reversed plans to spend $1.8 million in public funds on a series of experiments on beagle puppies. to test drugs to treat allergies.

In a rare response to a lawmaker, Fauci told Ernst, “Although the contract with Inimmune Corporation proposed the use of preclinical mouse and canine animal models, after consultation with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company has chosen to proceed with the use of two rodents. models only. No experiment using the canine model is conducted under this contract.

Also in July, a judge approved a plan to move 4,000 beagles out of a breeding and research facility called Envigo in Cumberland, Va., and into shelters.

The facility had been cited for multiple animal welfare violations by the US Department of Agriculture.

“During a seven-month period, over 300 puppies died,” WCW reported. “Dozens of beagles were found with battle wounds; others were seriously ill. Nursing mothers were deprived of food for nearly two full days.

WCW discovered through FOIA requests that the NIH had purchased more than seven dozen beagles from Envigo since 2019, some as young as a year old, costing taxpayers between $1,000 and $1,500 per dog. .

WCW reported documents showing taxpayers paid $375,000 for experiments in which dogs were locked in cages to be bitten by infectious sandflies and $2.3 million for experiments in which dogs were given an injection of an “experimental compound” of drugs containing cocaine.

In 2020, WCW reported that the NIH spent approximately $140 million on animal testing in foreign countries, with a total of 353 labs in 57 countries around the world eligible to receive US taxpayer funds, including countries classified as foreign adversaries like China and Russia.

The watchdog group’s release of several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents has prompted 24 US lawmakers to demand answers from Fauci in 2021.

AFAR law

Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) introduced a proposal called the Foreign Animal Research Accountability Act (AFAR) to ban funding for labs in countries that have been named as adversaries, including China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and North Korea.

According to WCW, 31 labs in China and Russia are currently eligible to receive NIH tax money for animal testing. This includes the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where former President Donald Trump ended funding in 2020 after an earlier WCW report showed the NIH gave the lab a $3.7 million grant. dollars.

PAAW Act

Rep. Nancy Mace (RS.C.) introduced legislation proposing to end NIAID’s “barbaric” dog experiments.

The Prevention of Animal Abuse and Waste Act of 2021 (PAAW) would prevent Fauci from conducting or supporting research that could result in death, irreversible harm, significant pain or distress in dogs.

The bill, which had bipartisan support, also required NIAID to report to Congress on ongoing canine experiments, its plan to phase out canine testing, and money spent on the experiments.

“Institutional inertia”

In a previous interview with The Epoch Times, Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy for WCW, said the NIH is stuck in “the institutional inertia that perpetuates these unnecessary and cruel experiments on dogs and other animals. within the federal government.

“The reason the Department of Health and Human Services gives on its website for using beagles is that they are small and docile, which means they are easy to abuse,” Goodman said.

Animals are used in these experiments to test the limits of a drug’s toxicity.

“Basically, they’re dosing rodent and non-rodent species with increasing amounts of any experimental drug to see when they get sick or die,” Goodman said.

Advocates of animal research, such as the Speaking of Research (SR) organization, point to medical developments and the benefits of using animals in experiments, citing on its website contributions that SR said the animal research has made contributions to science while challenging those who advocate for animal rights and an end to animal testing.

Although the NIH did not respond to The Epoch Times request for comment, in past responses to previous articles on NIH animal experiments, a spokesperson told The Epoch Times that reviewers are looking at the rationale of animal experimentation and whether alternative models could be used. Animals are protected by laws, regulations and policies, the spokesperson said.

“Institutions receiving NIH funds to conduct animal experiments must comply with the Public Health Service’s Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, Guide for the Care and Use of laboratory animals and the regulations of the Animal Welfare Act,” the spokesperson said. .

Those, like WCW, who oppose animal research point to the amount of taxpayer money that pours into experiments and what they describe as “cruel” methods that take place in labs.

“As the White Coat Waste Project’s #BeagleGate investigations have revealed, NIH-funded white coats are wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on injecting puppies with cocaine, skinning and poisoning dogs, infesting beagles with flies and of ticks and forcing dogs to suffer from septic shock,” Goodman said. “A super majority of Americans of all political stripes want Congress to cut unnecessary NIH spending on dog experiments. The solution is clear: stop the money. Stop the madness.”

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Matt McGregor covers news and features across the United States. Send him your story ideas: [email protected]