Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Bipartisan Congressional Group Presses Fauci On Abusive Animal Testing At His Agency

(Photo by J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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A bipartisan group of legislators led by Republican South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace sent a letter Thursday to Dr. Anthony Fauci demanding answers on animal testing funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) under his leadership.

The 24 members of Congress asked Fauci to answer how many drug tests NIAID has funded on dogs since January 2018, how much taxpayer money has been spent on those tests and whether or not tested dogs have been made available for adoption after they are experimented on, among other questions. The letter, first obtained by the Daily Caller, cites previous reporting on NIAID funding of abusive tests on Beagles, despite said tests being deemed unnecessary by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Bipartisan Letter To Dr. Fauci On NIAID Animal Testing by Dylan Housman on Scribd

“According to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, and subsequent media coverage, from October 2018 until February 2019, NIAID spent $1.68 million in taxpayer funds on drug tests involving 44 beagle puppies,” the letter reads. “While documents state that the ostensible purpose of this study was to ‘provide data of suitable quality and integrity to support application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies,’ the FDA itself has recently stated that it ‘does not mandate that human drugs be studied in dogs.'”

“Since the Food and Drug Administration has clearly stated that it does not require dog testing for new drugs, why has NIAID continued to commission testing on dogs?” the lawmakers ask. “What has NIAID done to explore the use of non-canine and non-animal alternatives to meet FDA data requirements? Please describe in detail.”

Earlier this month, documents obtained by White Coat Waste (WCW) revealed that NIAID spent $1.68 million on research that unnecessarily killed dozens of beagle puppies. The research involved force-feeding or injecting 44 beagle puppies with an experimental drug before euthanizing and dissecting them.

“De-barking beagles and poisoning puppies in experiments with our tax dollars is a national disgrace that’s uniting Republicans and Democrats, and we applaud Rep. Nancy Mace and her colleagues on both sides of the aisle for holding the NIH accountable this government waste and animal abuse,” said WCW vice president of advocacy and public policy Justin Goodman. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Republican Lawmakers Demand Answers From Fauci On Abusive Dog Drug Testing)

In addition to Mace, the letter was signed by Republican Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar, Brian Mast, Daniel Webster, Carolos Gimenez, Scott Franklin and Bill Posey of Florida, Nicole Malliotakis and Andrew Garbarino of New York, Brian Fitzpatrick, Scott Perry and Fred Keller of Pennsylvania, Lisa McClain of Michigan, Cliff Bentz of Oregon, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, and Democratic Reps. Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington, D.C., Ted Lieu, Lucille Roybal-Allard and Jimmy Gomez of California, Cindy Axne of Iowa, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Terri Sewell of Alabama and Mike Quigley of Illinois.