Every year, in a process called “appropriations,” Congress sets the budget for federal departments and agencies — determining how much money they will get, and how they are allowed to spend it. Appropriations take a while because it’s hard for Congress to come to an agreement on…well, anything, really.
But issues related to taxpayer-funded animal experiments often rise above the fray of partisan bickering — which is why White Coat Waste Project (WCW) has always worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and why we’ve been able to achieve so much under Republican and Democrat administrations alike. We’re proud to be a big tent!
Now, with Congress in the middle of appropriations season, a bipartisan array of lawmakers is working hard to ensure that no more American tax dollars are sent to Vladimir Putin’s animal labs.
In case you missed it, we recently revealed that over $700,000 of your money was sent to the Kremlin-run Pavlov Institute of Physiology in St. Petersburg, Russia, where it was spent on cruel and wasteful experiments on cats. This wasn’t a grant we dredged up from long ago — the experiments were funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) as recently as 2021!
On April 27, Reps. Lisa McClain (R-MI), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), and 27 bipartisan colleagues sent a letter to the heads of the appropriations subcommittee that sets the budget for the NIH. The letter (available in full below) references WCW’s investigation and asks the subcommittee leaders to prevent the NIH from sending one red cent of your tax money to Russian animal labs. If that sounds like common sense to you, you’re not alone: a recent poll from Lincoln Park Strategies found that 76% of Americans supported canceling grants to Russian animal laboratories.
The NIH is addicted to spending. As our “Worldwide Waste” report found, 353 labs in 57 countries are eligible to receive U.S. funding, and an estimated $140 million was shipped to foreign animal labs in 2020.
U.S. taxpayers shouldn’t have to bankroll international animal torture. Rep. McClain’s bipartisan request, if approved by the Appropriations Committee, would be a step in the right direction — and a victory for taxpayers, animals, and common sense.
NEW: The NIH provides funds to Russian labs that torture animals, including $550,000 to a Russian lab that surgically removes parts of cats’ brains and forces them to walk on treadmills.
A group of lawmakers are trying to block the funds.
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) April 28, 2022
So would her AFAR Act, which would prevent any taxpayer money from funding animal experiments in countries deemed “foreign adversaries.”
As the Appropriations Committee finalizes its spending bills for the year, we’ll keep you posted if Putin’s animal labs are finally defunded. While we’re waiting, though, you can help! Tell Congress to pass the AFAR Act today!