Bipartisan push to stop NIH pain tests on cats and dogs

A bipartisan measure targeting maximum pain tests on cats and dogs was introduced on Thursday, the latest in a string of efforts to curb tax dollar support for animal testing.

While the “PAAW Act” has a cute-sounding name, it would have a very serious effect, according to the sponsors, Reps. Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Jared Moskowitz (D-FL). It would end most federal funding of tests on cats and dogs, according to a synopsis provided to Secrets.

The Preventing Animal Abuse and Waste Act targets spending by the National Institutes of Health and follows on the heels of successful bids championed by the White Coat Waste Project and other animal rights groups to curb animal testing.

“As a dog owner, I’m appalled by the inhumane practices that have been conducted using taxpayer dollars. I’m happy to have worked across the aisle with Rep. Mace to choose paws over politics and put a stop to unnecessary government experiments on cats and dogs,” Moskowitz said.

Added Mace, “As an animal lover, I’ve been disturbed to learn the scale and scope of barbaric and unnecessary dog and cat experiments funded by the National Institutes of Health. Americans across the political spectrum have been horrified to learn their tax dollars are being used to subsidize cruelty to thousands of puppies and kittens in labs every year. The PAAW Act will ensure taxpayers’ hard-earned money is not wasted on outdated and cruel experiments on pets.”

According to the most recent federal reports, over 62,000 cats and dogs are locked in U.S. labs, most of which are National Institutes of Health-funded. Nearly 18,000 of these dogs and cats were subjected to painful experiments, including maximum pain tests with no pain relief, said WCWP.

The group, which has targeted Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in its campaigns, last month helped to win congressional approval of legislation to stop the Veterans Affairs department from conducting tests on America’s pets.

“From Fauci’s fly infestation tests on beagles to the Kremlin’s kitten crippling experiments, our investigations continue to expose how the NIH wastes millions of tax dollars in the U.S. and abroad to abuse pets in painful, dead-end experiments,” said Justin Goodman, senior vice president at the White Coat Waste Project.

“We applaud Reps. Mace and Moskowitz for introducing the bipartisan PAAW Act and their outstanding leadership to cut the NIH’s taxpayer-funded cruelty to canines and kittens. When it comes to painful and unnecessary dog and cat testing, wasteful NIH spending is the problem, and the PAAW Act is the solution. Stop the money. Stop the madness!” he added.

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Reps. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), the co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, and Troy Nehls (R-TX) are also original co-sponsors.

“While we continue our fight to end cruel animal testing altogether, I’m proud to join my colleagues in supporting this bipartisan legislation that requires more oversight over NIH-sponsored animal research and prohibits studies that cause significant pain and distress to our most vulnerable animal populations,” Malliotakis said.

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