U.S. House votes to end VA’s painful experiments on dogs

By on July 27, 2017 with 2 Comments

Yesterday, I called on you to take action to support a bipartisan amendment to a defense spending bill to halt federal funding of painful experiments on dogs at Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities for the upcoming fiscal year. So many of you responded, and Congress listened. The House passed the amendment last night by voice vote. We are grateful to Reps. Dave Brat, R-Va., Dina Titus, D-Nev., Ted Poe, R-Texas, Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Brian Mast, R-Fla., and Ted Lieu, D-Calif., for sponsoring the amendment and shepherding it to passage. We thank the White Coat Waste Project for leading the charge on the issue.

Many of these lawmakers spoke and noted that an investment in research more directly applied to humans and applying 21st-century methods will yield better outcomes for veterans facing health challenges. “These dog testing experiments at the VA are consuming limited taxpayer dollars, medical staff time, and office space that could be better utilized to deliver health care for veterans,” said Congressman Brat, who was the lead author of the amendment. “The VA’s first priority should be caring for our veterans, not harming man’s best friend.”

Their amendment mirrored the purposes of the PUPPERS Act (Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species Act), also led by Reps. Brat and Titus. That bill will permanently end painful dog experiments at Veterans Affairs facilities. And in terms of the defunding amendment, we need to work with the Senate and maintain that language as the Fiscal Year 2018 spending bill moves to its next stage.

People are often distressed when they learn the details of dogs and other animals confined and suffering in laboratories. Whether it’s chimpanzees or animals used in chemical or cosmetic testing, we have worked to bring the plight of these animals to light and to end their suffering.

There’s more to do on this front. Some cosmetic makers are still testing their ingredients on rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and rats, forcing substances down their throats and applying them to the eyes or skin of animals who never deserved this kind of fate. Often, the protocols do not require pain relief, and animals suffer terribly.

The Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2790) is a key priority for The HSUS and Humane Society Legislative Fund, and last night’s vote reminds us of the potential for meaningful reform. This bill would make it unlawful for anyone to test cosmetics on animals in the United States and would phase out the sale of cosmetics that involved any new animal testing, even if conducted outside of the country. We sincerely appreciate the work of our friends in Congress who are the lead sponsors of this effort, especially Reps. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., Don Beyer, D-Va., Ed Royce, R-Calif., Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., joined by 54 additional co-sponsors so far.

More than 750 cosmetic brands in North America have committed to eliminating animal testing from their product lines and nearly 200 companies endorse the Humane Cosmetics Act. These companies are able to develop great cruelty-free products by using the thousands of existing ingredients already proven safe or using non-animal test methods for new ingredients. It’s important to note that The HSUS is at the forefront of pushing for development and use of non-animal alternatives for all animal testing, such as our work through the Human Toxicology Project Consortium and our resource website AltTox.

Thanks to the diligent work of our affiliate, Humane Society International, 36 nations have already banned cosmetic animal testing and/or trade, and there are active efforts to make Canada, Brazil, Australia, and other countries cruelty-free marketplaces. And if hundreds of U.S.-based manufacturers are also selling in those 36 nations, they are complying with the law and not engaging in new animal testing. Which raises the question: why not level the playing field and join our efforts to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act? Let’s make the United States that next cruelty-free marketplace: urge your member of Congress to join the effort by taking action.

U.S. House could vote today to ban VA’s invasive, painful experiments on dogs

By on July 26, 2017 with 9 Comments
U.S. House could vote today to ban VA’s invasive, painful experiments on dogs

Puppies and adult dogs are subjected to botched surgeries, induced heart attacks, and other invasive procedures, and then euthanized, as part of experiments carried out at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals – and you and other American taxpayers are funding it. This disturbing fact was recently uncovered at the McGuire Medical Center VA hospital in Richmond, . . . 

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HSUS undercover investigator documents sickness, mistreatment of puppies at New York City pet store

By on July 25, 2017 with 22 Comments
HSUS undercover investigator documents sickness, mistreatment of puppies at New York City pet store

A French bulldog puppy shed a quarter of her body weight – transforming a lean, four-pound dog to an emaciated three pounder. Two Pomeranians had a hard time seeing a thing after conjunctivitis caused their eyes to be swollen shut. An English bulldog had pneumonia so severe that the animal was struggling to breathe. A . . . 

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Zinke’s Department of the Interior mounting unprecedented attack on wildlife

By on July 24, 2017 with 25 Comments
Zinke’s Department of the Interior mounting unprecedented attack on wildlife

The Department of the Interior, under Secretary Ryan Zinke, isn’t mincing words or hedging its political bets. At least not so far. Last week, its leaders signaled that the department may dismantle a rule to restrict ruthless predator killing practices on some 20 million acres of National Park Service lands in Alaska. In his proposed . . . 

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Trophy hunter slays son of Cecil

By on July 21, 2017 with 3 Comments
Trophy hunter slays son of Cecil

This week, Vietnam agreed to the rescue and relocation of 1,000 bears who live on bear farms. These Asiatic sun bears are held in deplorable settings and “milked” in extraordinarily inhumane ways for their bile (used in tonics and in traditional Chinese medicine). The shut-down of this industry is a big moment in the global . . . 

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Breaking news: Key Senate committee says ‘neigh’ to reopening U.S. horse slaughter plants

By on July 20, 2017 with 42 Comments
Breaking news: Key Senate committee says ‘neigh’ to reopening U.S. horse slaughter plants

Today, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee – whose members constitute nearly a third of the entire chamber – voted with nary a controversy in favor of an amendment to bar any horse slaughter plants from opening in the United States. Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., led the bipartisan effort, with fellow committee . . . 

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Humane Society International saves 149 more dogs destined for butcher in South Korea

By on July 19, 2017 with 5 Comments
Humane Society International saves 149 more dogs destined for butcher in South Korea

As South Koreans get ready for the Bok Nal days of summer, which trigger a sharp increase in dog meat consumption in the country, Humane Society International (HSI) has pulled 149 more dogs from the terrible fate of being inhumanely killed and then carved up for use in soup. The dogs we’ve saved from the . . . 

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Breaking news: Perdue Farms doubles down on changing its business model for the better

By on July 17, 2017 with 8 Comments
Breaking news: Perdue Farms doubles down on changing its business model for the better

Maryland-based Perdue Farms, one of the biggest brands in the production of poultry raised for meat, is making one of the most important announcements of any major producer in the field. Last summer, The HSUS – along with Compassion in World Farming and Mercy For Animals – worked with Perdue to commit the company to . . . 

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State and federal lawmakers sniffing out checkoff cronyism

By on July 14, 2017 with 0 Comments
State and federal lawmakers sniffing out checkoff cronyism

To its credit, the California Senate Judiciary Committee stopped a bill to expand the state tax on cattle and dairy farmers to the tune of millions of dollars – a plan to put the funds into a “commission” that would be authorized to use the money for lobbying against animal welfare and family farmers. The . . . 

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Congressional attacks on wolves ramp up

By on July 13, 2017 with 5 Comments
Congressional attacks on wolves ramp up

It wasn’t enough that earlier this year a narrow majority of lawmakers in Congress targeted wolves and other native carnivores for destruction on 76 million acres of our national wildlife refuges in Alaska. Now, they are expanding that fight to National Park Service lands in Alaska – another 20 million acres, where they want to . . . 

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