In just 18 months, White Coat Waste Project’s campaign to end painful taxpayer-funded dog experimentation at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made historic progress. Congress has twice enacted legislation restricting VA’s dog testing. Virginia enacted the nation’s first state law banning spending on “maximum pain” dog and cat experiments. The VA implemented the federal government’s first lab animal adoption policy. And the bipartisan PUPPERS Act to permanently defund the VA’s most painful dog testing has nearly 100 cosponsors.
Now, we’re seeing the positive impacts of this effort, and the VA’s shameful efforts to prevent more progress.
In a recent letter to U.S. Representatives Dave Brat (R-VA) and Dina Titus (D-NV), VA Secretary Robert Wilkie outlines progress to date:
- VA discontinued two active dog testing projects and canceled plans for two other invasive experiments
- VA spending on dog testing in 2018 is significantly lower than what was budgeted
- Several dogs have been adopted out of VA labs
As first reported by USA Today, Secretary Wilkie’s letter also includes troubling information about several existing VA dog testing projects in Richmond, Cleveland and Milwaukee that have been allowed to continue under questionable circumstances. According to USA Today, former VA Secretary David Shulkin did not properly review and approve the projects, as is required by federal law.
Lawmakers immediately condemned the VA:
The VA has not executed what we wanted as intent, which is to bring this to an end in its entirety. We will keep up the pressure until these invasive, painful and deadly experiments on dogs stop completely.https://t.co/TCUjjjGFXW
I’m calling for an immediate investigation into the Veterans Affairs Dept. for resuming cruel and inhumane experiments on dogs. It’s time to end this canine house of horrors where the spinal cords of dogs are severed to test their cough reflex. https://t.co/FYWOkBzRHE
Troubling report about the VA continuing some highly questionable and cruel dog testing. Proud to cosponsor the PUPPERS Act to stop this waste and abuse. https://t.co/d8Detculo1
Troubling report about the VA continuing some highly questionable and cruel dog testing. Proud to cosponsor the PUPPERS Act to stop this waste and abuse. https://t.co/UO6OtEQ6jV
Take a moment to write your Congress members and urge them to support the bipartisan PUPPERS Act to permanently cut federal funding for all painful dog experiments at the VA.