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A recent exposé has unearthed more controversy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which has previously come under fire for its ‘wasteful’ experiments on beagles in the US and abroad.
‘Cruel and wasteful experiments’
Members of the White Coat Waste Project (WCW), a taxpayer watchdog group focusing on scientific research, carried out the investigation.
They discovered that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – an institute of the NIH – ordered ‘unnecessary’ drug toxicity tests on dogs and other animals. The experiments cost taxpayers $1.68 million, WCW says.
Documents retrieved by WCW reveal that 44 beagle puppies, aged 6-8 months, were repeatedly injected with or force-fed an experimental drug.
Researchers slit the puppies’ vocal cords so that they were unable to bark, howl, or cry.
The research went on for months before the puppies were killed and dissected.
The NIH claimed the animal tests were conducted to support an application to the FDA. But according to WCW, the FDA has stated that it ‘does not mandate that human drugs be studied in dogs’.
Natalie Warhit, Campaign Assistant at WCW, said in a statement: “US taxpayers should not be forced to pay to poison and debark beagles in cruel and wasteful experiments.
“These deadly tests are completely unnecessary, as the FDA states it does not mandate dog testing and more efficient and humane alternatives are available. The NIH’s horrible track record of torturing innocent puppies needs to end now.”
The NIAID is headed by Anthony Fauci, who is also the Chief Medical Advisor to the President and the US federal government’s highest paid employee.
A letter signed by 24 members of Congress was sent to Fauci, demanding he explain the experimentation. The letter dubbed the research – particularly, the devocalization of the puppies – a ‘reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds’.
It is unclear whether Fauci has responded to the letter.
Recently, WCW uncovered that Fauci had spent a total of $800,000 to intentionally infest beagles with infected flies to give them parasites.
A petition launched by WCW to end taxpayer-funded animal experiments has garnered nearly 90,000 signatures.