(WRIC) — In an update to an on-going 8News investigation, Congress is taking more steps to restrict canine research at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
You may remember, 8News had reported the House was taking steps to prohibit taxpayer funding for deadly dog research, now the House has gone one step further placing additional restrictions on this kind of research.
On Friday, the House passed the 2019 Fiscal Year spending bill.
New language in the bill which can be found on page 51 now prohibits new canine research unless there is absolutely no alternative to using dogs.
If that’s the case, the study will need final approval from the VA Secretary.
The move comes after 8News exposed at least 39 dogs, some puppies, surgically implanted with pacemakers and run on treadmills until they collapsed or died.
It’s part of an on-going study into heart disease at McGuire VA Hospital in Richmond.
Virginia Congressman Dave Brat was one of the lawmakers pushing for the new restrictions to the research.
A watchdog group advocating to end the experiments, White Coat Waste Project, issued this statement today from Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy, Justin Goodman:
“Kudos to Congressman Dave Brat and his fellow lawmakers for holding the VA’s feet to the fire to ensure that taxpayers’ money is not spent to abuse dogs in wasteful experiments at the Richmond VA or any of the agency’s other laboratories.”
The bill also calls for an in-depth, internal review of any existing canine research projects.