Politics

Petition Urging VA Secretary To End Dog Experiments Hits 60,000 Signatures

More than 60,000 people have now signed a petition asking for Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to end dog experiments.

The petition, started by veterans and the White Coat Waste Project on Change.org, decries the VA’s use of taxpayer dollars to “abuse and kill dogs in wasteful experiments.”

“The VA’s painful and deadly experiments on dogs are a betrayal of these loyal animals who literally save soldiers’ lives on and off the battlefield,” the petition states. “These projects also waste resources desperately needed to provide veterans with care and services.”

Some of the experiments conducted on dogs include giving puppies heart attacks, cutting into the brains of beagles and damaging dogs’ spinal cords.

Veterans interested in an end to dog experimentation recently won a victory when the Los Angeles VA medical center stated it was ending upcoming tests on narcoleptic dogs. This announcement earlier in June followed on the heels of a May letter, in which nine members of Congress wrote the VA inspector general in an effort to get more information on the cost of dog experiments at the medical facility.

The White Coat Waste Project recently sued the VA for refusing to release full records of dog experiments conducted at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA medical center in Richmond, Virginia, specifically the names of researchers connected to the project and funding sources.

“We’re suing the Department of Veterans Affairs because taxpayers have a right to know who’s paying the bills, who’s cashing the checks and who’s responsible for abusing puppies in wasteful heart attack experiments at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center,” Julie Germany, executive director of White Coat Waste Project, said in a statement.

There are still three more VA laboratories conducting dog experiments.

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