Through a freedom of information request, White Coat Waste Project (WCW) have unearthed a report by the Veterans Association Office of Research Oversight (ORO) which documents “years of rampant waste and abuse” and violations of federal law in carrying out cruel tests on cats at the Cleveland VA “cat lab”. And because of these violations, WCW have filed a federal complaint addressed to the Inspectors General of the VA and the National Institutes of Health demanding that the government claw back tax dollars wasted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for conducting these abusive and illegal experiments. Below is an extract from the letter of complaint. You can read the entire letter by clicking this link.
Recently WCW exposed an illegal plan promoted by VA Secretary Denis McDonough to restart painful and unnecessary experiments on cats at the Cleveland VA, which WCW ended through their efforts, last year.
The document referred to, which you can read by clicking on this link, reveals that the same Cleveland VA cat lab violated federal animal testing laws. There are numerous instances of breaches of federal law including performing unapproved procedures on cats during experiments – which, incidentally, were first exposed by WCW – and failing to provide cats with pain relief.
Here are some of the violations:
They found that the Cleveland lab’s animal experimentation oversight committee was illegally constituted from March to December 2020. This is because it didn’t include a member of the general public and non-animal experimenter. Both are required by federal law to provide a check on misbehaving animal testers.
Under federal policies, because the oversight committee was illegally constituted, all approvals and other decisions made by the committee during that nine-month period were voided (invalid IACUC approvals). Further, any government spending on animal experiments during that time was prohibited.
Accordingly, WCW are demanding that taxpayer money is returned as it was illegally spent. They don’t know yet how much money the Cleveland VA wasted on the unlawful experiments. They do know that there were 38 separate taxpayer-funded projects at the time concerning experiments on cats and other animals.
However, they do know that during the period of non-compliance, Clevedon VA’s cat experiments “raked in $1,228,799 in taxpayer dollars in 2020 and 2021 during the period when the facility was breaking the law.”
WCW continue to do great work in exposing illegalities and misbehaviour on the back of cruel animal experiments carried out in improper ways and which are, in the first place, essentially cruel and abusive and further, I would argue, unnecessary. WCW are a thorn in the flesh of Cleveland VA and rightly so. The American taxpayer should be delighted with their work as should all animal advocates and those interested in the welfare of cats.
Statement from Justin Goodman, Senior Vice President, White Coat Waste Project:
“Our ongoing investigation has uncovered how the same cruel Cleveland VA animal lab where Secretary Denis McDonough wants to unlawfully resurrect painful cat testing has an abysmal track record of waste, fraud, and abuse, including failing to provide cats with pain relief, performing unapproved procedures on cats, and illegally approving experiments on cats and other animals. Federal laws and policies are clear that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for illegal animal experiments, and we’re demanding that the VA return the money it already wasted in violation of the law and cancel its preposterous plan to put more cats under the knife in a reckless spending spree opposed by Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Our message to Sec. McDonough is simple: Stop the money. Stop the madness!”
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