WaPo Columnist Writes A Defense Of Government-Funded Experiments On Puppies

(Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

An opinion columnist at The Washington Post defended government-funded experiments on puppies in a piece Monday because it could save “countless human lives.”

Dana Milbank wrote that several outlets had wrongly stated that a study in Tunisia which involved parasites feeding on the dogs was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), where Anthony Fauci serves as director.

The study in Tunisia involved the testing of beagle puppies, who had their heads placed in cages while sand flies were allowed to “feed on the sedated dogs for 60 minutes.”

The study was published by the National Center For Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which is one of the 27 institutes and centers that fall under the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Fauci directs the NIAID, which is separate from the NCBI but falls under the NIH.

Milbank then acknowledged that a separate study that was funded by the NIAID did experiment on beagle puppies and defended the procedures conducted during the experiments.

“NIAID-funded researchers did indeed perform cordectomies on 44 beagle puppies and euthanized them after the [separate] study,” he wrote.

“The Food and Drug Administration requires researchers to experiment on non-rodent mammals for certain classes of HIV-AIDS drugs, and for this study specifically recommended dogs” Milbank wrote. “It is necessary  to use young dogs (six to eight months) to assess whether the drugs retard growth. It is mandatory  that the dogs be euthanized so researchers can search for damage to organ systems.”

Documents from theWhite Coat Waste Project revealed that the NIAID did, spend $1.68 million on research that led to the deaths of dozens of beagle puppies. Between October 2018 and February 2019, NIAID-funded research at SRI International involved force-feeding or injecting 44 beagle puppies with an experimental drug before they were euthanized and dissected, documents obtained by White Coat Waste Project found. Some of the research also involved cutting the dogs’ vocal cords so they could not bark. (RELATED: ‘It’s Despicable’: DeSantis Says Fauci ‘Needs To Be Held Accountable’ For Cruel Puppy Experiments, Gain Of Function Research)

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 22: Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the President, arrives at the White House on July 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. The United States continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases as the Delta variant accounts for a larger share of new cases. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 22: Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the President, arrives at the White House on July 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Milbank said it’s recommended that dogs undergo cordectomies, which devocalize the dogs, because it will “reduce anxiety (in dogs) and hearing loss (in humans) from barking.”

“This is no frivolous pursuit: The drugs under study are promising next-generation antiretrovirals that can be administered to HIV/AIDS patients less frequently – potentially saving countless human lives,” Milbank argued.

Twenty-four members of Congress have since asked Fauci to answer questions on how many drug tests NIAID has funded on dogs since 2018 and how much taxpayer money has been spent on the tests, among other questions.