Categories: Animal Testing

Constipation experiments on cats to benefit America’s military veterans

Experiments regarding incontinence and constipation (dysfunctional avoiding) on domestic cats are taking place in America. They are cruel experiments and they are designed to research medical treatments for America’s military veterans who have been injured and are suffering various health challenges including incontinence, frequent urination, general dysfunctional avoiding, diabetes and spinal cord injuries.

VA cat experiments. Photo: The Sun newspaper who I presume got the photo from VA in disclosure.

Information about what can only be described as cruel experiments on not only cats but other animals was unearthed by the White Coat Waste Project under a Freedom of Information Act request. The White Coat Waste Project is a watchdog which represents animal and liberty lovers who don’t want to see taxpayers money to the tune of $20 billion spent annually on cruel experiments on animals. The experiments are commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA).

The VA buys healthy cats and performs this invasive surgery. They implant electrodes to stimulate bladders or colons et cetera. The use artificial poo made from bran, potato flour and saline in bowel experiments. They break the spines of the cats in some instances. Comment: I presume this is to simulate the injuries that some of the veterans are suffering from.

The bladder research was needed, it is said, because more than 15 million Americans suffer from dysfunctional avoiding, incontinence and frequent urination. These conditions are related to spinal-cord injury, ageing and diabetes which is commonplace in the military veteran population, said the VA.

They use domestic cats in the experiment because they are big enough to have the devices fitted. They want to better diagnose and treat the causes of these problems. They say that cats control their bladders in a similar way to humans. The fake faeces are forced into the rectums of the cats.

The Sun newspaper reports that the cost of these experiments is up to $1 million per year. The vice president of the White Coat Waste Project, Justin Goodman, said:

Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay millions for VA bureaucrats to buy healthy cats, cripple and mutilate them, and videotape their abuse in wasteful, bizarre and deadly constipation experiments.

Medical records confirm that the cats were and are very distressed and depressed. The VA has been accused of torturing the cats, some as young as six months of age. It is argued that the experiments should be conducted on human volunteers which would make them more useful and accurate. Information obtained show approval to experiment on 35 cats. They are killed after the experiments. All the experiments are classified as painful and are scheduled to run until December 2020.

The White Coat Waste Project has lobbied Congress which, I am told, has cut funding for the VA’s dog tests which are being phased out by 2025. In defence, the VA says that it is committed to supporting research to improve veteran’s medical care. Most of the research is done on human subjects, computer models and on the analysis of existing data “from biological systems other than vertebrate animals”. They also say that “less than 5% of that last 1% depends on living vertebrate animals involving dogs, cats or nonhuman primates”. In other words relative to the entirety of the research, cats are rarely used. Comment: they are still used.

Observation: of course it’s gruesome and horrible to read reports like this. It is cruel and ironic that military veterans who have been tragically injured in battle are the reason why cats have to be tragically injured in sterile laboratories where they become depressed, distressed and killed at the end of it all. It seems wrong to pile pain on more pain, distress on more distress. A lot of people argue that animal experiments in their entirety should be phased out as quickly as possible. They are often not as efficient as they might be because it is difficult to transfer the experiments to treatments on people despite the similarities in the anatomy and physiology of cats and people.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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