There is no denying that 2020 has been *a year*.
But you know what? While so much of 2020 has been a 💩 show—our small and scrappy organization still got a 💩-ton accomplished!
This year, White Coat Waste Project defunded and defeated more government labs than any other organization… and we did it with fewer resources than anyone.
Everyone loves a top 9 list these days. So in no particular order, here are 9 of the most important 2020 victories in the War on Waste… plus a special bonus number 10 that we can’t help tooting our own 📣 about:
ENDING VA’S KILLER KITTEN LABS
“The Veterans Administration is doing things to cats that would land an individual in jail.” – Nevada Current
🐱 WCW launched a new campaign to expose and end the Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) three secretive and lethal cat experimentation labs, which have cost taxpayers over $11 million.
🐱 Now, we’re working with bipartisan members of Congress to pass the WCW-backed CATS Act to completely defund the VA’s disturbing “catstipation” experiments.
🐱 In fact, we’re now on the verge of cleaning out ALL federal cat labs. Last year, we closed the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) $22 million “Kitten Slaughterhouse.” That money pit was the biggest and baddest cat lab in the entire U.S. government.
🐱 That leaves the VA as the last major government lab doing painful taxpayer-funded testing on kittens. With your help, we’ll defund and defeat it next!
CUTTING FDA RED TAPE
✂️ Our new regulatory relief campaign is arguably our biggest and most important one yet: Exposing and ending the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) outdated mandate that forces drug makers to abuse and kill up to 20,000 beagle puppies annually.
✂️ We rallied Congress to introduce the Alternatives to Animals for Regulatory Fairness (AARF) Act and secured key language in the FDA’s 2021 funding bill demanding it report how companies can avoid burdensome and unnecessary dog tests.
GETTING FOREIGN WHITE COATS OFF THE DOLE
🐒 WCW launched a new campaign exposing how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) ships U.S. tax money to foreign countries for animal experiments, including millions to Great Britain to addict monkeys to heroin.
🚌 Public transit officials in Maryland unlawfully rejected WCW’s bus ads exposing this waste and abuse. But we filed suit on your behalf and won. Bigly👇🏼
💉🦠 In April, as the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the planet, we launched one of the year’s biggest stories: Uncle Sam was shipping your money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for dangerous and cruel coronavirus experiments on animals.
🦇🦠 Our blockbuster exposé went…well it went…there’s just no other word for it: viral.
✂️💸 Not three weeks after we launched our campaign, we WON! The Trump administration pulled the plug on funding the animal experiments and requested over $300,000 of remaining 2020 taxpayer money be returned.
🇨🇳 😿 But the NIH isn’t the only big spender. So we exposed how the USDA went on an overseas shopping spree in China, purchased dogs and cats from live animal “wet markets,” and force-fed their remains to lab kittens in cannibalism experiments back in the USA!
Think about that for a minute. Dog and cat meat abroad, taxpayer-funded animal testing at home.
🥼 🗑️ Then, we worked with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) to introduce Delilah’s Law: to prohibit your hard-earned money from ever being wasted at these markets again—the very same markets implicated in the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
WINNING IN WASHINGTON
🏛️ The 2021 federal spending bill includes many of WCW’s cost-cutting and life-saving measures which take a big bite out of wasteful animal experiments all across the federal government.
🏛️ Thanks to WCW, cutting taxpayer-funded animal experimentation is now a bipartisan issue. In 2020, we earned bipartisan win after bipartisan win for taxpayers and animals in an era when Republicans and Democrats are otherwise at war.
🏛️ Our best friends and allies from both sides of the aisle are returning to Congress in 2021, to keep helping us fight the War on Waste.
🐾 We made the FDA enact its first-ever, agency-wide retirement policy allowing dogs, cats, primates, and other lab survivors to be retired after experiments. Check out this great coverage in People and Smithsonian Magazine.
🐾 THIS IS A BFD. Taxpayers aren’t usually allowed to adopt government lab survivors, even though we “bought them.” Lazy bureaucrats kill them, instead of adopting them out or retiring them sanctuaries.
🐾 Next step? Pass Violet’s Law (aka the AFTER Act) to make adoption an option across the entire federal government! We paid for the animals abused in government labs… now let’s make Uncle Sam #GiveThemBack!
ENDING GOVERNMENT MONKEY BUSINESS
🙈 WCW’s successful lawsuit first exposed the NIH’s “fear factory”—where over $50 million of tax money has been wasted to give primates brain damage and scare them with fake snakes and toy spiders.
🙉 Then we passed House legislation ordering the agency to provide a plan to reduce primate experiments by 2025.
🙈 And we got legislation signed into law calling for an independent review of ALL of the NIH’s intramural primate testing by the National Academy of Sciences. THIS IS ALSO A BFD. When the NAS reviewed the NIH’s chimpanzee experiments, it deemed most of them to be wasteful and unnecessary, ultimately prompting the end of all taxpayer-funded chimp testing.
🙊 Painful tests on monkeys are going up almost everywhere in the USA. But WCW held the line on intramural testing. In one of the few bright spots for primates, WCW blocked greedy white coats from expanding the NIH’s in-house testing and got Congress to renew its demands that the VA and FDA reduce experiments and retire survivors.
DEFUNDING DOG LABS
🐶 We’ve already cut federal dog experiments to the lowest point ever.
🐶 WCW—and the 127 bipartisan cosponsors of the PUPPERS Act—aren’t the only ones saying this waste has to go.
🐕 Our investigations also prompted the VA Inspector General to determine that the VA illegally spent nearly $400,000 of taxpayers’ money to abuse dogs in experiments.
☀️ Sunshine is the best disinfectant. It’s a key weapon in the War on Waste.
🌞 Better government transparency makes it easier to find, expose, and defund animal experiments.
☀️ We saw major victories on that front in 2020:
☀️ Transparency may not on first glance seem the 👄 🍆 🎆-iest topic we work on. But it may be the MOST important.
Heck, even if you’re PRO-animal testing, you probably agree: taxpayers have a right to know who’s paying the bills … and who’s cashing the checks!
DUMPING EPA’S TOXIC WASTE
🐇 Holy 🐄, do we love this win: Following an 18-month WCW campaign to expose and end the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) toxicity tests on animals, the agency announced the most comprehensive plan in U.S. government history to completely end animal testing.
🐇 WCW is the ONLY organization that passed legislation directing the EPA to cut its in-house animal testing, which wasted millions of dollars and killed tens of thousands of victims annually.
🐇 In October, we awarded EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler our first-ever Greenbaum Policy Pioneer Award for his visionary leadership.
🐇 Now we’ve set our sights on saving the survivors of the wasteful EPA experiments that Administrator Wheeler is commendably shutting down.
Oh yeah, we also won the American Association of Political Consultants’ prestigious Pollie Award for Public Affairs Campaign of the Year!
“This winning campaign achieved high impact results with few resources and brought unprecedented awareness for the uncharted territory of animal issues that fundamentally changed public opinion and public policy.”
Thank you for making it all possible.
We’re waging a relentless War on Waste… you might even call it a guerrilla war. Don’t forget: our average donation is just $18! But that small amount lets us do BIG things.