Rep. Mace Leads Letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci on Cruel Taxpayer-Funded Experiments on Puppies
Dr. Anthony Fauci
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Dear Dr. Fauci —
We write with grave concerns about reports of costly, cruel, and unnecessary taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs commissioned by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
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 dogs were all between six and eight months old. The commissioned tests involved injecting and force-feeding the puppies an experimental drug for several weeks, before killing and dissecting them.
Of particular concern is the fact that the invoice to NIAID included a line item for “cordectomy.” As you are likely aware, a cordectomy, also known as “devocalization,” involves slitting a dog’s vocal cords in order to prevent them from barking, howling, or crying. This cruel procedure — which is opposed with rare exceptions by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association,and others —seems to have been performed so that experimenters would not have to listen to the pained cries of the beagle puppies. This is a reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds.
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.” This is apparently not the first time that NIAID has commissioned drug tests on dogs in recent years.
In light of the above, please provide the following information by November 19th:
How many drug tests involving dogs have been funded by NIAID since January 2018? How much taxpayer money has been spent on this testing?
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?
What has NIAID done to explore the use of non-canine and non-animal alternatives to meet FDA data requirements? Please describe in detail.
Has NIAID ever made any dogs available for adoption after the conclusion of an experiment or testing? If so, how many? If no, why not?
Why has NIAID contracted for cordectomies when they appear to be scientifically and medically unnecessary? What is the average cost for each cordectomy performed?
Thank you for your attention to this matter. It is our duty to ensure the responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. We look forward to your prompt and thorough response.