Florida Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan is calling for Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general Michael Missal to investigate reports of botched experimental surgeries conducted on dogs at a Virginia VA medical center.
Buchanan told Missal Friday in a letter obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation that he’s disturbed to hear disastrous and invasive heart surgeries on dogs have occurred at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA center, without any real transparency.
“These disturbing and controversial experiments on dogs include everything from inducing heart attacks to invasive brain-damaging surgeries, which can leave the animals severely maimed or dead,” Buchanan, who chairs the House Animal Protection Caucus, wrote in the letter.
“I also am concerned about the lack of transparency surrounding these experiments,” he said. “Information about the results of these experiments isn’t readily available to the public, according to press reports, and anything done with taxpayer dollars should be done with full disclosure to the public.”
“I urge you to investigate this situation and share your findings with my office,” he added. “Specifically, I am interested in learning why these experiments are not being adequately disclosed to the public, whether animals are being harmed unnecessarily and whether taxpayer dollars me being misused.”
Based on Freedom of Information Act requests from the White Coat Waste Project, TheDCNF reported Tuesday that Alex Tan, the doctor involved in totally incompetent surgeries that led to suffering and death for dogs, is still listed as an active physician at McGuire. A local media outlet in Richmond, Virginia, confirmed his active status at the facility on Friday.
According to 8News, Tan is still treating and conducting surgeries on veterans, although TheDCNF reported he was taken off the animal experimentation project and banned from various types of dog surgeries, because of his dangerous surgical history.
Although the VA relies on taxpayer funds to conduct these experiments, information about them is incredibly murky and largely inaccessible.
Missal has already been questioned about whether he’ll open an investigation.
“We’re in the process of reviewing it, and we’ll determine whether or not it is something that makes sense for us to do,” Missal said March 24, according to Stars and Stripes.
Buchanan told TheDCNF that hesitation is precisely why he is piling on with a letter and urging Missal to open an investigation.
“I want to know if inappropriate and cruel experiments are being done on animals at taxpayer expense and are not being disclosed to the public,” he said.
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