Last week, White Coat Waste Project, a bipartisan animal rights coalition, unleashed a serious allegation against the Department of Veterans Affairs. The group alleges that the VA is conducting controversial experiments on dogs at a laboratory at the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. The Project, in a letter to the VA Inspector General, VA leadership, and congressional committees, accused the McGuire VA with inducing heart attacks, invasive brain-damaging surgeries and stomach ailment simulations which mutilate or kill the canines. It set forth concerns that the VA has set forth no information to say the specific purpose of the experiments. The Project’s letter alleges that the VA has not complied with reporting standards. Additionally, it alleges that three dogs were killed at the McGuire VAMC as a result of “sloppy, incompetent surgeries.”
Democrat and Republican lawmakers have both responded to these reports, urging the federal government to reexamine the research it administers.
VA officials responded to the report, stating that providing the best services and healthcare to veterans is the ultimate goal. The VA countered with claims that all of its animal research is closely monitored, with standards exceeding state and private sector requirements.