The Veterans Administration is doing things to cats that would land an individual in jail, and you’re paying for it.
“As you know, a landmark National Academies report recently determined that most VA dog testing is unnecessary,” Nevada Democratic Rep. Dina Titus writes in a letter to the VA, which was signed on to by 29 lawmakers, including seven military veterans. “Likewise, we are concerned that the VA’s use of cats for invasive and terminal taxpayer-funded research may not be warranted.”
In one experiment exposed in videos obtained by the White Coat Waste Project, a non-profit aimed at ending the taxpayer investment of “$20 billion+ for wasteful government animal experiments,” a kitten’s spinal cord is severed before it is killed.
Titus writes that the appropriations bill signed in December 2019 “includes language to restrict wasteful and inhumane testing on dogs, cats, and primates at the VA. The bill also requested a plan to ‘eliminate or reduce’ the use of these animals in research by December 2025.”
The letter says that while “painful dog testing at the VA has been significantly curbed” because of funding cuts, “questionable VA experiments on cats have continued at facilities in Cleveland, Louisville, and Los Angeles at great expense to taxpayers.”
Titus says the Cleveland VA “has spent at least $3.4 million in taxpayer funds” to “purchase dozens of cats, perform invasive surgeries on them, damage their spinal cords, and ultimately kill them for tests related to incontinence and constipation.”
“At the Louisville VA, cats are given spinal cord injuries, placed on treadmills and narrow walkways to study their walking, and then have their spinal cords completely severed before being killed,” she writes of the project that cost taxpayers $324,383 “and is slated to use and kill 80 total cats.”
“Finally, the Los Angeles VA has spent nearly $5 million in taxpayer money on sleep-related experiments in which cats have electrodes implanted into their brains, after which they are killed and their brains removed and dissected,” the letter says. “This study is taking place despite the fact that the Los Angeles VA ended sleep disorder experiments on dogs in 2017 after it was determined that the tests were unnecessary and that alternatives were available.”
The letter is not signed by other members of Nevada’s House delegation — Democrats Susie Lee and Steven Horsford and Republican Mark Amodei.