REP. LIEU STATEMENT ON HOUSE PASSAGE OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS AMENDMENT TO PROTECT DOGS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement in light of House passage of Representative Brat’s (R-VA) amendment (#21) to the national security “minibus” spending bill—the Department of Defense Appropriations Act—for Fiscal Year 2018. Amendment #21 prohibits the Department of Veterans Affairs from spending money on any study that causes significant pain or distress to dogs. Mr. Lieu is a cosponsor of the Brat Amendment.
“The House of Representatives has taken yet another important step for our nation’s veterans, American taxpayers, and our canine friends. With the passage of this amendment, we are renewing our commitment to taking care of our veterans without wasting resources to conduct unethical and inhumane experiments on dogs. I applaud Representative Brat for taking the lead on this issue, and I am proud that the House has adopted this common-sense measure to the minibus.”
The Los Angeles VA facility recently announced that it was discontinuing a two-decades-old canine research program. In experiments at the VA facility, Dobermans were bred to suffer from narcolepsy, and subsequently injected with methamphetamines daily for six months, killed, and dissected. On May 8, 2017, Reps. Lieu and Titus (D-NV), along with seven other House Members, sent a letter to the VA Inspector General, Michael J. Missal, raising concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability in the controversial dog experiments. On June 9, the VA announced it was terminating this research program.
In addition, reports have indicated that the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond also conducted cruel, and sometimes botched, experiments on dogs. These healthy dogs underwent surgery to receive implanted devices inducing irregular heartbeats and were forced to run on treadmills until they collapsed.