In a major win for animal welfare advocates, supporters of a limited government, and detractors of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) just announced it will not be carrying out cruel experiments on puppies it previously planned to fund.
You may recall that a group called The White Coat Waste Project (WCW)—who I am a Fellow for—initially broke the #Beaglegate story last year. In it, they revealed that Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which operates under the NIH, had funded horrific experimentations on beagles with taxpayer dollars. The story made headway and led to much public outcry.
But, fortunately, it didn’t stop there. Last month, thanks to an effective Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the WCW, Americans were alerted to the fact that the NIAID was planning to spend another $1.8 million in taxpayer dollars on a series of five painful experiments on puppies between now and August 2023.
This is especially troubling as the experiments were to take place in order to test a new drug for “allergic rhinitis.” For those not keeping up with scientific terms, that basically refers to “hay fever,” or a common runny nose.
After WCW broke the story, Senator Joni Ernst joined fellow Republicans like Senator Rand Paul and Congresswoman Nancy Mace in a stern rebuke of such practices.
Ernst wrote a letter demanding information from Dr. Fauci.
In it, she wrote, “I understand that at least five different NIAID-funded tests on dogs, including puppies as young as six months old, are planned for this drug and will involve invasive, painful, and potentially deadly procedures. This taxpayer-funded dog testing commissioned by NIAID appears to be unnecessary.”
Ernst (correctly) went on to point out that such animal testing was not even required by the FDA.
This advocacy prompted a response from Fauci, which most animal welfare advocates will likely find lackluster. Yet in it, he did promise testing on canines would not take place under the contract for this new drug and its testing:
This seems to indicate the public outcry is breaking through.
Even more encouragingly, the response to these abusive government practices does not appear to be stopping at letter writing either. Support for a piece of legislation known as the PAAW Act appears to be growing. The bill, which stands for the Preventing Animal Abuse and Waste Act, would prohibit Dr. Fauci (and other government actors) from performing, funding, or otherwise supporting any “maximum pain” or other painful experiments on dogs.
Furthermore, this week, a House committee voted to strip funding from labs in hostile foreign countries, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
On Thursday of last week, the House Committee on Appropriations approved a budget that contained this provision. This is a notable victory because many believe our tax dollars not only funded animal torture in these labs, but also that COVID-19 may have been leaked from a Wuhan lab.
Americans should not be forced to fund animal torture, period. But while there is still much work to be done on that front, these are encouraging developments that indicate the tide is turning as more people become aware of what our government is doing.
Disclaimer: Hannah is a fellow for the White Coat Waste Project, which works against taxpayer funding for animal experimentation.