When reports came about accusing Dr. Anthony Fauci of funding experiments (with taxpayer dollars) that used dogs as test subjects with cruel and inhumane practices, many Republican legislators, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) were quick to jump on the story.
Now, Mast is demanding that the National Institute of Health (NIH) and its subsequent departments need to be held accountable.
“Together with Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV), I’m demanding answers. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (a division of the National Institutes of Health) needs to be held accountable for decades of cruelty,” wrote Mast in a blog post on his official website.
“The agency needs to disclose exactly how much money was spent on these tests and whether or not any dogs are still involved in these types of experiments. I am committed to ending this taxpayer-funded animal abuse so that Americans aren’t forced to subsidize this kind of ‘research’ ever again.”
In Mast’s and Titus’ letter to the Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (a division of the NIH), Dr. Gary Gibbons, the representatives seek answers about a taxpayer funded colony of at least 120 dogs bred at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) with “hemophilia and related disorders.” The dogs had been residents there since 1947.
In the letter, Mast and Titus ask questions such as how much money the UNC dogs have costed taxpayers since the 40’s and how many dogs have been used in experiments and killed in the past 10 years, as well as other inquiries.
“As U.S. Representatives, we must exercise our oversight authority to ensure that Americans’ tax dollars are well-spent, and scrutiny of this disturbing program is long overdue. We have made remarkable progress in recent years to reduce taxpayer-funded dog experiments, including at the Department of Veterans Affairs. As we continue to advance these efforts, we greatly appreciate your timely attention to these matters and look forward to your response,” write the representatives in conclusion.
Following the publication of this article, the White Coat Waste Project (the group who first broke the vast history of this story), provided The Floridian with a statement saying:
“Our new investigation exposes that for 75 years—since the Truman Administration—NIH white coats have been bleeding taxpayers by bankrolling a secretive dog colony that breeds thousands of sick beagles and other puppies for the government’s wasteful blood disorder experiments. For years, we’ve proudly worked with Rep. Mast to unite Congressional Republicans and Democrats to successfully shut down a record number of federal dog labs. Now, a supermajority of taxpayers across the political spectrum wants Congress to defund NIH dog experiments and we applaud Rep. Mast for leading bipartisan efforts to investigate and end this waste and abuse. Seventy-five years is long enough: stop the money, stop the madness.”