The Trump administration has made serving our nation’s veterans and reforming the broken Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) a priority, and has given the VA the tools it needs to do so. So, why the hell is the VA still torturing puppies in useless lab experiments?
Since taking office, President Trump has signed a remarkable 10 major pieces of VA reform legislation into law to strengthen the veterans’ health care system, improve benefits and provide exceptional support for these brave men and women who’ve been neglected for too long.
Yet, despite the President’s campaign promises and his leadership in the Oval Office, the VA has yet to resolve one of its most high-profile—and easily fixable—controversies: its wanton abuse of man’s best friend.
The VA has been rightfully slammed by veterans, Congress and countless Americans for continuing to torture dogs in its research labs. VA staff are giving dogs heart attacks, injecting them with meth, drilling into their skulls, collapsing their lungs and committing other unspeakable abuses against puppies as young as 5-months-old. This disgusts me as an American, taxpayer and dog-lover.
Veterans organizations across the country have rallied around this cause, citing it as another example of the VA’s misplaced priorities. Veterans are dying because they can’t get a doctor’s appointment, are enduring botched medical procedures by incompetent VA staff, are being denied medical benefits and are committing suicide because they’ve been neglected by the system. Yet the VA has continued to waste time, money and other resources on bizarre, outdated and unnecessary dog research that hasn’t produced useful results and that most veterans oppose. Its infuriating that the VA is ardently defending this useless junk science, but refusing to study the many proven benefits of medical marijuana for alleviating veterans’ PTSD and chronic pain.
My friend, Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL), a Purple Heart recipient who lost both legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, put it best when he recently said, “As a combat-wounded veteran, its alarming that the VA is spending taxpayers’ money abusing dogs in unnecessary experiments when veterans are still unable to get the treatment and care they need.”
The House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Mast to cut the funding for the VA’s devilish dog research. The Senate has yet to act, but solving this problem is simple and is not dependent upon an act of Congress. VA Secretary David Shulkin can literally end this boondoggle overnight.
President Trump has made clear that he wants the VA cleaned up and that he won’t tolerate animal abuse. He recently called elephant hunting a “horror show” and took bold and decisive action to halt the Interior Department’s misguided plans to allow African big-game “trophies” to be imported in the U.S.
The VA’s dog testing is another horror show that needs to end. Neglecting veterans’ needs and abusing man’s best friend with taxpayers’ money is positively un-American. I call on President Trump to end this wasteful and inhumane madness immediately. All it takes is the stroke of a pen.
Roger Stone is a legendary Republican political consultant and a veteran of many national Republican presidential campaigns.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.