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US government goes ahead with fatal experiments on dogs

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    US government goes ahead with fatal experiments on dogs

    By Tim Wyatt

    November 4, 2018

    The US government has decided to press ahead with controversial experiments on dogs, despite critics in congress and elsewhere attacking them as cruel and unnecessary.

    The department for veterans affairs (VA) has approved the continuation of the testing, which it says will help doctors find new ways to treat wounded soldiers, according to USA Today.

    Researchers running the experiments will remove sections of the dogs’ brains that control breathing, sever spinal cords to test cough reflexes and implant pacemakers before triggering abnormal heart rhythms. All the dogs involved will ultimately be euthanized.

    But a row is brewing over how exactly the vivisections were approved. When the testing was first exposed by an anti-animal testing group last year – White Coat Waste Project – congress passed a law prohibiting the VA department from conducting them without its secretary’s direct approval.

    Documents seen by the paper show the VA is currently carrying out nine experiments on dogs, at four different facilities.

    One of the lawmakers who is trying to pass a bill which would ban the testing, Democrat Dina Titus, said: “It’s not economically sound, they could be looking at new technologies, and morally people just don’t support testing on puppies.”

    Paralyzed Veterans of America, which was initially in favor of the VA dog testing, has now changed its mind and told USA Today it did not oppose efforts to stop the dogs being experimented on and killed.

    The VA, which said that more than 99 per cent of its animal testing involved rats or mice, insisted that dogs remained a necessary part of its research. But when asked what medical progress had come about because of dog testing, the agency’s spokesman could only point to breakthroughs which date back to the 1960s.

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