TITUS INTRODUCES BILL TO CUT TAXPAYER WASTE AND PROTECT ANIMALS

Jul 12, 2017
Press Release

July 12, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Today Reps. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Dave Brat (R-VA) introduced the Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species Act (PUPPERS Act), H.R. 3197, legislation to prohibit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from conducting medical research causing 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. It was also uncovered that the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System planned to experiment on and breed narcoleptic dogs but halted those efforts after a congressional inquiry led by Rep. Titus.  

“With my colleagues in the House and devoted advocates, I have helped expose cruel and outdated experiments on dogs at VA facilities in Los Angeles, Richmond, and other locations around the country,” Rep.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.”

“The revelations regarding the dog laboratory testing at McGuire VAMC are disturbing and the descriptions are almost on the scale of torture,” Rep. Brat said. “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.”