The Department of Veterans Affairs has another scandal on its hands: A brand new Inspector General’s report finds the agency has been illegally spending your money on wasteful and cruel dog experiments.
It’s official: the VA broke the law. It defied Congress and President Trump. And we caught them red-handed!
In fact, the VA abused 51 dogs in eight unauthorized experiments… costing taxpayers $393,606!
The VA Office of Inspector General launched its investigation in 2019 following WCW‘s campaign and a bipartisan request from military veterans and Waste Warriors Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV).
The subject of the query was the VA’s suspicious “approval” for continued dog testing in 2018 and 2019, including heart attack tests on puppies… in defiance of Congress and the President’s de-funding and restricting the VA’s taxpayer-funded dog experimentation.
And unfortunately, the IG discovered exactly what we expected from the defiant VA, addicted as it is to spending: This report proves that the scandal-ridden VA misused taxpayer funds to experiment on dogs and puppies in violation of the law.
VA has come under fire in recent years for what some have called “cruel practices” involving dogs and medical research. https://t.co/SNvSeRBuJj
— ConnectingVets (@ConnectingVets) July 14, 2020
The IG concludes that the VA’s pattern of unlawful dog experimentation “undermines congressional intent and is unresponsive to the public’s concerns”—and that “in the absence of improved internal controls and documented, verifiable approval procedures” the VA is likely to keep doing it!
In other words, the VA wasted your money illegally torturing puppies even while veterans are denied necessary care—and left to their own devices, they’re not going to stop!
You can read the report in full here. Suffice to say: it’s rightfully scathing.
In December of 2018, I asked the Inspector General at @DeptVetAffairs to investigate apparent unauthorized, cruel dog experiments conducted at the agency.
Today the IG concluded that the VA violated federal law to conduct these painful dog experiments.
— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) July 14, 2020
Congress immediately responded to the IG’s findings with harsh rebukes, with Rep. Mast (R-FL) saying the VA “using taxpayer dollars to fund cruel, painful experiments on dogs is unacceptable on its face.”
“The Inspector General’s report makes it clear that the Department of Veteran Affairs misled the public while conducting cruel experiments on dogs in violation of federal law,” said Congresswoman Titus. “I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put an end to these harmful and unnecessary dog experiments at the Department of Veterans Affairs and at any other federal agencies.”
Rep. Lieu was similarly excoriating, condemning the “unauthorized use of appropriated funds” as “unacceptable.”
“We will work to ensure VA complies with our goal of protecting our animal friends,” Rep. Lieu said.
Rep. Buchanan said the IG report highlighted the need for further Congressional action. “Congress needs to pass legislation to permanently ban these gruesome experiments,” he said. And, indeed, that’s exactly what the Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species (PUPPERS) Act (HR 1155) would do. We are very grateful to Reps. Titus, Mast, Lieu, and Buchanan for their leadership on this urgently needed bill.
— 8News WRIC Richmond (@8NEWS) July 14, 2020
This IG’s findings follow another searing WCW-led report that came out this month. The National Academies of Sciences (NAS) released its comprehensive review of dog testing at VA facilities—and confirmed what we directly told the NAS committee: Most VA dog testing is unnecessary, and the VA needs to step up efforts to prevent wasteful dog tests and develop and use alternatives.
We already knew the VA’s dog experiments are wasteful, cruel, secretive, in need of drastic reform. Now we can add “illegal” to that list of awful adjectives.
It needs to stop, and that’s what we’ve set out to do.
You can help! Please take a moment to write your members of Congress and urge them to support the bipartisan PUPPERS Act to permanently cut federal funding for all painful dog experiments at the VA.