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Reps. Brat and Titus Introduce Bill to Limit Testing on Dogs at the Department of Veteran Affairs

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Washington, July 12, 2017 | Juliana Heerschap (202-225-2815) | comments
WASHINGTON - Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) and Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) introduced H.R. 3197, the Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species Act (PUPPERS Act). This bipartisan legislation will prohibit the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) from conducting medical research that causes significant pain or distress to dogs.

This year the Office of Research Oversight at the Department of Veterans Affairs found evidence of extensive violations of federal animal welfare regulations, internal policies, and research protocols at the McGuire VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Richmond, Virginia. In June, these findings were published in an internal report made public by a Freedom of Information Act request.

Rep. Brat issued the following statement, “The revelations regarding the dog laboratory testing at McGuire VAMC are disturbing and the descriptions are almost on the scale of torture. We must have quality health care for our veterans and the best medical research, but I believe there are alternative and more humane methods that can lead to similar medical breakthroughs. It is clear from this investigation the conditions at the McGuire VAMC in Richmond are not meeting the highest standards and healthy puppies are suffering through induced heart attack studies as a result. Our bill sets clearly defined expectations for medical research and will prohibit research at taxpayer-funded VA facilities that causes significant pain or distress for puppies.”

“With my colleagues in the House and devoted advocates, I have helped expose cruel and outdated experiments on dogs at VA facilities in Los Angeles, Richmond, and other locations around the country,” Rep. Titus said. “This legislation will help end those inhumane programs once and for all by ensuring that taxpayers do not foot the bill for purchasing, breeding, transporting, and disposing of dogs. Passing this bill will benefit both our veterans and our four-legged friends.”

Original Cosponsors: Titus (D-Nev., co-lead), Mast (R-Fla., veteran), Lieu (D-Calif., veteran), Donovan (R-N.Y.), and Boyle (D-Pa.).

Text of the bill.
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