RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — American Veterans (AMVETS), one of the nation’s largest veterans groups with 250,000 members, told Congress Friday they support efforts to phase out taxpayer funding for “antiquated canine research” at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In a letter, the group writes, “the drawbacks have far outweighed the benefits for quite some time.”
The letter goes on to say for these reasons, “AMVETS supports a steady and finite draw-down in funding for VA’s controversial canine research and the re-purposed funds to be used for identifying alternatives to using animals in research.”
A series of 8News investigations uncovered deadly dog experiments have been underway for years at McGuire Medical Center in Richmond.
8News found the dogs, sometimes as young as six-months-old, are surgically implanted with pacemakers and run on treadmill often until they collapse or have a heart attack.
All of the dogs are eventually euthanized.
The VA has maintained this is critical research into cardiovascular disease. Opponents call it animal abuse.
The House has passed a measure to cut taxpayer funding for the research. The Senate still needs to vote on it.