2/27/17 UPDATE: The GAO has agreed to conduct this first-ever audit of spending on and transparency about federal animal experimentation.
Originally published on December 21, 2016
Following the White Coat Waste Project’s recent exposé of secretive and wasteful dog laboratories at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Pentagon, National Institutes of Health and other agencies, influential U.S. Senators are joining a bipartisan group of House members in calling for increased scrutiny of federal animal experimentation programs.
As reported in the Associated Press this morning, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)—joined by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)—sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting an audit of how federal agencies publicly disclose the purpose, methods, cost and outcomes of their controversial experiments on dogs and other animals. They are also seeking recommendations for what can be done to improve the accuracy and completeness of this information.
In the letter, the Senators—who serve on powerful committees with oversight of agencies conducting animal experiments—cite our recent “Spending to Death” report, and write:
We are troubled by recent reports indicating that information about the cost and operations of the federal government’s animal research laboratories – including those involved in controversial experimentation on dogs – are often unavailable to the public and Congress. Transparency about federal spending on animal research is especially critical given some evidence suggesting that such research is often wasteful and inefficient.
Government transparency and accountability are cornerstones of our democracy. The public has a right to know how federal agencies spend their tax dollars and whether this spending improves American lives. Congress must also have access to this information in order to assess the effectiveness of government programs and prevent waste, fraud and abuse.
A new national poll shows that a majority of Democratic and GOP voters want to cut federal funding for animal experiments, and two-thirds believe federal agencies should be required to inform the public how many animals they use and how much money they spend on animal experiments.
If you haven’t yet, please contact your Members of Congress and urge them to help end wasteful experiments on dogs and other animals in government laboratories.