Sen. Ernst: NIH spent $1.3M to study cats’ musical preferences

29 January 2019 | Blog, Transparency


White Coat Waste Project spends every day investigating what the heck the National Institutes of Health (NIH) does with the $15 billion annually that it wastes on ineffective, stupid and often inhumane animal experiments.  It’s not always easy, since even the NIH told WCW that it’s not sure where the money goes!

Thankfully, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is on the case, and her January 2019 Squeal Award “winner” provides a case study for why more transparency and accountability about federal spending on wasteful animal experiments is so badly needed.

As Sen. Ernst explains in her press release:

“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported ten different cat studies—funded from grants totaling $1.3 MILLION of your money—that concluded classical music has an effect on cat behaviors. For example, a study found that after playing classical music for cats every day, they were less likely to poop outside of the litter box or cough up hairballs.”

Last month, Ernst’s colleague Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) highlighted other egregious taxpayer-funded animal experiments, including lizards blown with leaf-blowers and quails on cocaine.

Sen. Ernst is also leading efforts to increase transparency about spending on these kinds of wasteful projects, including by helping secure a federal audit of violations of spending disclosure laws first uncovered by WCW.

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