Lawmakers Demand More Info on VA Dog Experiments

Letter cites experiment breeding dogs with narcolepsy and treating them with drugs before killing them

Rep. Nanette Barragan, D-Calif., was among members of Congress asking the Department of Veterans Affairs for more information about experiments on it is conducting on dogs  (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs asking for more information into the department's experiments on dogs.

“We are concerned that the VA’s description of these experiments as ‘observational’ is inaccurate and misleads Congress and taxpayers to believe that the studies are harmless,” the letter reads.

The letter was addressed to VA Inspector General Michael Missal about experiments on dogs being conducted in the VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System and signed by Nevada Democratic Rep. Dina Titus, as well as Democratic members representing the Los Angeles area, including Reps. Lou Correa, Brad Sherman, Grace F. Napolitano, Norma Torres, Tony Cardenas, Ted Lieu, Nanette Barragan.

The letter was coordinated with the White Coat Waste Project, which focuses on animal experiments. Members reviewed documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request.

The letter cites a research application that was approved in October that entailed breeding Doberman dogs with narcolepsy, injecting them with methamphetamines or antidepressants, and then killing them.

“We are also concerned that without access to FOIA documents, we would not have known the VA was providing misleading information or that dogs were even used in these experiments at the Greater LA VA,” the letter stated.

The letter comes a month after Florida Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan sent a letter to Missal asking for an investigation into animal surgeries and deaths at a VA facility in Richmond, Va.

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