In what came to be known as #BeagleGate, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, was exposed by a watchdog group and the media for providing taxpayer funding for cruel and unnecessary scientific experiments on dogs and puppies.
Now comes word that, thanks to pressure applied by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Fauci has informed the senator that an upcoming $1.8 million taxpayer-funded trial slated to use dogs to test a new allergy drug has been canceled, the Conservative Brief reported.
The drug trial still appears to be slated to occur, but will now only use rodents as test subjects for a new hayfever medication instead of dogs.
“Dog abuse” shouldn’t be occurring “on the taxpayer’s dime”
A press release from Sen. Ernst on Tuesday celebrated the Iowa Republican’s success in pressuring Dr. Fauci to cancel the dog portion of the drug trials by way of pointed questions during committee hearings and the threat of investigation into allegations of wasteful spending and animal abuse funded by taxpayers.
“Dr. Fauci was barking up the wrong tree when he decided to use government dollars on dog testing,” Ernst said in a statement.
“These inhumane practices have no place in our government — much less on the taxpayer’s dime,” she added. “Thankfully, after voicing our concerns and shining a light on these heinous tactics, taxpayers can rest easy knowing their hard-earned money is not going towards dog abuse.”
Watchdog group “thrilled” by the news
The news was also heralded by the White Coat Waste Project, the government watchdog group that had initially exposed the Fauci-approved taxpayer-funded experiments on animals that drew bipartisan outrage and condemnation over the cruelty and pain inflicted on innocent young canines.
“We’re thrilled that following a White Coat Waste Project exposé and advocacy by Waste Warrior Sen. Joni Ernst, Dr. Fauci’s ‘runny nose’ experiments on beagle puppies have been completely canceled,” Devin Murphy, public policy and communications director of the group, said in a statement shared by the senator.
“This is a decisive victory in the War on Waste, and sends a message to big-spending white coats across the federal government: taxpayers should not be forced to pay for wasteful, unnecessary, and cruel animal experiments,” Murphy added. “After WCW’s #BeagleGate investigation first exposed NIAID’s barbaric beagle experiments, Members of Congress in both parties, and Americans across the political spectrum, were outraged — and rightfully so. Taxpayers and animal lovers in Iowa and across the nation are grateful for Sen. Ernst’s outstanding commitment to government transparency and the responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”
Fauci cancels upcoming dog trial, still defends testing on animals generally
The Washington Free Beacon reported that it had obtained a copy of a letter that Dr. Fauci had sent to Sen. Ernst to inform her of the changes made to the upcoming drug trial, as well as to reassure her that the taxpayer-funded trials wouldn’t occur in Chinese labs, though he did appear to defend the use of dogs in certain experiments and tests.
“Although the contract to Inimmune Corporation proposed the use of murine and canine preclinical animal models, after consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company elected to proceed using two rodent models only,” Fauci wrote to Ernst, according to the Free Beacon. “No experiments utilizing the canine model are being conducted under this contract.”
As for testing on dogs more broadly, Fauci referenced certain ethical guidelines and wrote, ” want to assure you that NIH and NIAID take the welfare of animals in research very seriously,” and added, “NIH has established guidance, procedures, and protocols to ensure that … scientists maintain the highest possible standards for the humane care and use of animals in research.”