New WCW-backed PA Bill Will Defund Animal Tests, Retire Lab Survivors, Boost Transparency

04 May 2023 | Blog

In recent months, lawmakers from states across the country have been joining White Coat Waste Project’s (WCW) efforts to hold government bureaucrats accountable for wasting our money on cruel, dangerous, and unnecessary animal testing.

Now, we’ve linked up with Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) to advance a comprehensive new bill to crack down on cruel and wasteful taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs and cats across the state of PA.

Pennsylvania Defund Bill

WCW supported Sen. Mastriano’s May 2, 2023 event to launch his life-saving and cost-saving legislation!

Some quick background for the uninitiated:

For years, WCW has been leading national efforts to find, expose and defund cruel & wasteful taxpayer-funded experiments on tens of thousands of dogs and cats.

Our historic Prisoners of Waste campaign completely shut down heart attack tests on puppies and all other painful dog testing at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). Likewise, our viral #BeagleGate campaign uncovered how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) wastes tens of millions each year to torture puppies in painful and unnecessary testing.

Pennsylvania Defund Bill

At a May 2, 2023 event, Sen. Mastriano highlighted WCW’s #BeagleGate campaign!

To protect our feline friends, we’ve exposed and defunded horrendous kitten experiments being conducted by federal agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the VA.

And we launched our #GiveThemBack campaign to ensure that adoption—instead of senseless slaughter—is an option for animals who survive experiments in government-run labs.

Unfortunately, we’ve uncovered that PA is homebase for lots of this taxpayer-funded canine cruelty and cat-astrophic waste, and citizens being forced to foot the bill have no clue.

Pennsylvania Defund Bill

Sen. Mastriano introduced the bill at a WCW-supported event surrounded by local advocates and rescued lab beagles!

Working with Sen. Mastriano’s team, we’ve uncovered federal records showing that in 2021, over 4,000 dogs and cats were imprisoned in over a dozen PA experimentation labs including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and even the PA location of disgraced puppy profiteer Envigo.

Federal records show that over 1,100 of these dogs and cats in PA labs were subjected to significant pain and distress. In some cases, pain relief was withheld intentionally.

Pennsylvania Defund Bill

Many of these horrible experiments on puppies and kittens and the labs where they’re conducted are funded with federal and state taxpayer dollars.  

Sen. Mastriano’s landmark new bill would: 

  • Prohibit state tax dollars from funding painful experiments on dogs and cats
  • Prohibit state funding for dog and cat testing labs that violate federal law
  • Prohibit the use of tax dollars to surgically de-bark dogs to prevent them from crying out in the lab
  • Require labs receiving tax dollars to adopt out healthy dogs and cats when testing ends
  • Require labs experimenting on dogs and cats to publicly disclose if they were taxpayer-funded and how much public money they spent
  • Require the PA Treasury to issue an annual report on taxpayer funding for dog and cat experiments

This bill would ensure PA adopts commonsense reforms to protect animals and taxpayers, some of which have a proven track record elsewhere.

For instance, fifteen other states including neighboring Maryland and New York, have laws on the books allowing dogs and cats in labs to be retired and rehomed (as do key federal agencies thanks to our work!).  And WCW helped Virginia enact a law in 2018 prohibiting state funding for painful dog and cat experiments after we exposed that a lab funded with state and federal tax dollars was giving puppies heart attacks by injecting latex into their arteries. Federal law requires that NIH-funded animal labs disclose their spending, too.

We are proud to support Senator Mastriano’s outstanding efforts to boost transparency and accountability about government spending and ensure that taxpayers aren’t funding dog and cat torture. A supermajority of Americans across the political spectrum support these efforts, too.

The solution is clear: 

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