More than $2.3 million in taxpayer money has been used to fund experiments on puppies in the US, White Coat Waste Project (WCW) has reported. The watchdog group labeled the animal tests, which involve injecting young dogs with cocaine, as “wasteful” and “cruel.”
WCW accessed documentation that detailed the experiments through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The organization discovered that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) ran tests on seven six-month-old beagles.
Researchers surgically implanted the dogs with titanium vascular access ports, the documents confirm. This monitored the puppies’ vital signs as they received doses of cocaine “again and again for months,” WCW said.
The experiment ran from September 2020 to September 2021. A report on the findings is due in May 2022.
Once the experiments ended, the animals were either sent on to be used for other tests or euthanized.
Taxpayer-funded dog tests
A similar but separate experiment took place from March 2020 until March 2021. In that study, researchers injected six puppies with cocaine.
WCW named the experiments “wasteful, cruel, and unnecessary.”
“These dogs experienced more pain before their first birthday than any dog should have to experience in its lifetime — all for the purpose of writing a report,” WCW wrote on its website.
Devin Murphy, WCW’s public policy and communications manager, spoke about the findings in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
Murphy said: “#BeagleGate just got bigger. Taxpayers should not be forced to foot the multi-million-dollar bill for wasteful and cruel ‘Coke Hound’ experiments in which beagle puppies are injected with cocaine just to fulfill burdensome and outdated FDA red tape.”
He added that the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US government’s medical research agency, is “addicted to spending” money on such experiments. “It’s time we got this waste and abuse off of the taxpayer’s back,” Murphy stressed.
Animal testing in the US
WCW has previously unearthed documents on other taxpayer-funded animal experiments.
In November, Charles River Laboratories, which tested cocaine on the aforementioned dogs, came under fire for experimenting on monkeys.
WCW revealed that the lab was leasing an island to breed monkeys for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH.
At least 500 primates are given to the US government for various experiments every year. One of which saw 12 monkeys injected with the fatal Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus (CCHFV).
Additionally, in October, WCW published an exposé on the NIH for ordering drug toxicity tests on animals.
Lab employees injected or force-fed 44 beagle puppies experimental drugs for months as part of the testing. Researchers cut the dogs’ vocal cords so that they were unable to bark or cry during the operation. They were euthanized and dissected at the closing of the tests.
WCW said $1.6 million of taxpayer money was used to fund the experiments.