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:
On today’s #frontpage: Fatal dog experiments moving ahead despite criticism from Congress, veterans groups; Natural gas explosions reveal silent danger lurking in old cast iron pipes pic.twitter.com/HpswrPEWBO
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) November 2, 2018
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, the VA did not properly review and approve the projects, as is required by federal law.
Former VA Secretary David Shulkin, veterans, and lawmakers immediately condemned the VA:
Thank You @AMVETSHQ @SGillums for your #leadership on this important issue. As #SecVA and to this day-I remain opposed towards any new #dog research #ScienceOverPolitics @VFWHQ @DAVHQ @legionindc @VAChair @USATODAY https://t.co/FeoAkdject
— David J. Shulkin, MD (@DavidShulkin) November 2, 2018
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.