Federal spending bill takes a bite out of dog research

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It’s being called an historic effort to curb government animal testing. The federal spending bill signed by President Trump last week extends restrictions to dog research at the Department of Veterans Affairs, including McGuire VA Medical Center’s controversial dog testing.

An 8News investigation exposed the taxpayer-funded animal experiments involving dogs at the veteran’s hospital in Richmond. The new spending bill calls on the VA to come up with a plan to reduce or eliminate its use of dogs, cats and monkeys within the next five years.

Anthony Bellotti, founder White Coat Waste Project, a group fighting to end the taxpayer funded research says, “For years, we’ve worked with veterans and lawmakers to stop these taxpayer-funded horrors and we applaud Congress and President Trump for making history by setting a deadline for the elimination of this waste and abuse once and for all.”

The spending bill also requires others federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore alternatives to the use of nonhuman primates, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to come up with a detailed plan for the reduction and retirement of its use of monkeys in research.

This is the first time Congress has directed federal agencies to curb their use of animal testing. Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL), a combat-wounded Army veteran who has been highly opposed to the VA’s canine testing said, “These painful – often deadly – tests have gone on long enough, and it’s about time we worked together to defund them for good.”

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