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

By on July 26, 2017 with 9 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

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, Virginia, one of several VA facilities carrying out research on dogs. The VA’s Office of Research and Oversight also found extensive violations of federal animal welfare regulations, internal policies, and research protocols at McGuire. Today, Congress has an opportunity to reduce this unnecessary suffering by passing a bipartisan amendment that would end the most painful and distressful experiments on dogs at all VA facilities.

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to take up the Brat-Titus PUPPERS (Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species) amendment during consideration of a massive national spending bill today. We’re 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 introducing this amendment.

“We must have quality health care for our veterans and the best medical research, but I believe there are alternative and more humane methods that can lead to similar medical breakthroughs,” Rep. Brat said.

He’s right. Limited research dollars would be better spent on developing more efficient and effective human-based models such as The Living Heart Project—a collaborative effort between scientists, industry, and government to develop personalized digital human heart models. These and other types of cutting-edge research will move us beyond the outdated animal model and revolutionize healthcare for humans.

The HSUS is working to advance alternatives development through our leadership of The Human Toxicology Project Consortium (HTPC), a group of committed stakeholders in the corporate and nonprofit sectors who have come together to help secure the vision put forward by the National Research Council’s 2007 report, “Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century.” This groundbreaking report called for a move away from animal-based methods for toxicity testing towards faster, less expensive, and more human-relevant models.

But we are also beginning to work towards replacing animals in biomedical research. In fact, through our work with HTPC, The HSUS and Humane Society International recently collaborated with the National Institutes of Health on a conference bringing together scientists across agencies and industry to lay the groundwork for building the infrastructure necessary to move to a human pathway-based approach for understanding disease and for drug discovery. Efforts such as these and investment in the development of more efficient and effective human-based models is the way forward. The Humane Society Legislative Fund, with the support of The HSUS, has been instrumental in securing increased federal investment in the development and implementation of these methods.

Animal models will always have limitations, while alternatives, through sustained development of technologies, will only continue to advance. The HSUS is working toward a day when animals are no longer used in invasive research and testing, but until that day, we must work to reduce the suffering of animals in laboratories. This amendment moves us toward a more humane future in science and research. Please call your U.S. Representative today and ask him or her to support the Brat-Titus PUPPERS amendment.

Stop painful experiments on dogs at VA hospitals »

Animal Research and Testing, Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Lizann Marchetti says:

    Please this abuse has to stop!

  2. Joe Lee Frank III says:

    I agree and took immediate action to try and get Rep. T. O’Halleran’s (1st Dist AZ) support. The information I had from HSUS was incomplete and confusing. The Brat-Titus PUPPERS legislation was in HR3197. While it is true that the PUPPERS legislation is going to be offered as an amendment tonight 26JUL17, that is amended to HR3219, as you reported; but that was not how the LA in my congressman’s office was tracking it. Because there is no clear way to reach HSUS Legislative Affairs from the HSUS website, I lost valuable time until I reached a knowledgable person at the HSUS Legislative Fund to get information that was complete and correct. I don’t understand why HSUS wants to make it so hard for interested, motivated, members and donors to speak with a person. I remember the days after the big New Orleans hurricane a decade ago when one could call or write Mr. Pacelle directly. I aught to at least be able to reach an administrative assistant when I am trying to engender the grassroots support you want.

  3. Trisha Markov says:

    3PM on the West Coast is LATE to get this info! I will try to spread the msg!

  4. Ric Nanni says:

    Stop it. Doesn’t benefit

  5. Michelle Prince says:

    Please stop this horrible abuse!

  6. Autumnbreez says:

    This inhumane, cruel and abusive attack on animals should STOP. do not do to animals what you do NOT want done to you.

  7. Lynn I. says:

    As a medical student, I had to participate in dog surgery labs where animals were subjected to multiple unnecessary surgeries, often times without post-op pain medications, and honestly that still haunts me today. Many of the studies done on live animals do not save human lives or add knowledge to the medical field that can’t be obtained in another humane way.

  8. C. J. Bradley says:

    I know that some people mean well but if you cannot take care of an animal regardless, you shouldn’t have one. Because they have feelings and emotions just like people and they need to be treated with the best of care just like human beings.

  9. Doris Muller says:

    “Scientist” who willingly choose this kind of life’s work are the true Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s of our time. Everyone who truly loves and cares for a sentient creature knows they have great capacity to suffer. Yet, these “scientist” evidently easily leave their empathy, and their conscience, out of the laboratory.

    “In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.”–Ruth Harrison, Animal Machines

    Humans are so prone to being stuck in the rut of doing business the way its always been done. They become blind to the horror they commit, or that they support, to satisfy the wants of me-myself-and-I.

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