Sending Office: Honorable Dina Titus
Please join us sending a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies to call for an end to the use of taxpayer dollars to fund painful and distressing dog experiments at the Department
of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA, under the Veterans Health Administration, spends $779 million annually on in-house medical research on service-related conditions as well as those that do not have a direct connection to military service. The VA uses approximately
100 dogs a year in painful testing, primarily dogs under a year old. These experiments have been criticized by Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) and scientists as wasteful and unproductive. After pressure from Members of Congress, VSOs and other advocates,
multiple media exposés, and targeted legislation, painful dog testing has been reduced or discontinued at several VA facilities, including at the Los Angeles VA and Milwaukee VA. However, more remains to be done. We invite you to join us in ensuring that the
VA focuses its limited funds on providing quality care to veterans instead of wasting taxpayer money on cruel dog experimentation.
Dina Titus Brian Mast
Member of Congress Member of Congress
March 28, 2019
Dear Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz and Ranking Member Carter,
As you begin work on the Fiscal Year 2020 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we urge you to prevent funds from going to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to perform painful and distressing research on
dogs in USDA pain categories D (inflicting pain with relief) and E (inflicting pain without relief). These sometimes-fatal experiments include drilling into dogs’ skulls, inducing heart attacks, and collapsing their lungs. Despite the studies’ outdated and
inefficient nature, the VA lags behind other agencies in replacing its animal tests with modern technologies that can produce superior results that directly translate to humans. We believe the VA should focus its limited resources on improving the lives of
veterans instead of wasting taxpayer dollars on cruel and ineffective dog experimentation.Dear Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz and Ranking Member Carter,
Congress has already shown its support for ending painful dog studies at the VA through the appropriations process. The House voted to add the Brat-Titus amendment to eliminate funding for these studies to the Make America Secure Appropriations Act of 2018
by voice vote. In addition, restrictions on the VA’s use of dog testing were passed into law in the FY2018 and FY2019 MilCon-VA appropriations bills. While we applaud the Subcommittee’s leadership in enacting these restrictions, we feel that Congress must
go further. Bipartisan support to end the VA’s inhumane dog experimentation remains high, including among Members of Congress who have served our nation in uniform.
Over a dozen Veterans Service Organizations representing hundreds of thousands of veterans have endorsed congressional efforts to defund the VA’s dog testing due to its torturous nature and lack of benefits for veterans. This broad coalition of support includes
AMVETS, American G.I. Forum of the U.S., American Humane Association, American Military Retirees Association, DisabledVeterans.org, Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, Jewish War Veterans of the USA, Military Order of The Purple
Heart, Military-Veterans Advocacy, The Retired Enlisted Association, United States Army Warrant Officers Association, Veterans for Common Sense, Veterans for Peace, VetsFirst, Wounded Paw Project, and the White Coat Waste Project.
Accordingly, we ask that you include the following bill language:
Sec. __. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to purchase, breed, transport, house, feed, maintain, dispose of, or experiment on dogs as part of the conduct of any
study assigned to pain category D or E, as defined by the Department of Agriculture.
(b) This section shall not apply to training programs or studies of service dogs described in section 1714 of title 38 United States Code or section 17.148 of title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
We thank you for your consideration of this request.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0