Reading time: 2 minutes
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) once again found itself embroiled in controversy. A new expose has revealed that the government agency funneled taxpayers’ money into experiments on cats in Russia.
White Coat Waste Project (WCW), a taxpayer watchdog group, found that the NIH sent $549,331 to Putin’s Pavlov Institute of Physiology for testing. It is one of four state-run Russian labs that is eligible to receive taxpayer funds from the NIH for animal testing.
The more than half a million dollars — sent via a grant through the Georgia Institute of Technology in November — was spent on tests that WCW calls “monstrous” and “macabre.”
A experience saw 18 healthy cats undergo decerebration, in which cerebral brain function is interrupted by cutting the brainstem (or severing specific arteries) or removing the entire brain (most of the brain).
The researchers then implanted electrodes into the animals’ spines and forced them to walk on treadmills.
And this is not a new concept. The NIH sent funds to the same lab in Russia for experiments on cats in 2018 — $221,135 to be exact.
Similar experiments on kittens also took place at the Louisville VA Medical Center in the United States, WCW discovered.
Threatening national security
Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-MI) expressed her disapproval of the findings. In a statement sent to Plant Based Newsshe said: “Our tax money should never be sent to state-run labs in adversarial countries like Russia and China that threaten our national security.
“My AFAR law would prohibit taxpayers’ money from being funneled to animal testing labs in any country deemed to be foreign adversaries,” she added, referring to the Alien Animal Research Liability Act (AFAR).
WCW Vice President Mackie Burr shared similar thoughts.
“Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay white coats to the Russian government to torture and kill cats in pointless treadmill experiments,” Burr commented. “As the White Coat Waste Project revealed, there are four Kremlin-run animal testing labs that the NIH has authorized to receive our money and US sanctions against Russia should include their funding.”
NIH and animal experimentation
This is certainly not the first instance of the NIH using taxpayer dollars to support such testing. In February, it was reported that more than $2.3 million had been used to fund drug tests on six-month-old beagles.
During the year-long experiment, the puppies underwent invasive procedures and were repeatedly injected with cocaine.
A separate but equally disturbing project, reported in October, involved “skinning” puppies and force-feeding them experimental drugs. Forty-four beagles were used, until they were finally killed and dissected. The NIH has advanced $1.68 million in public funds for the tests.
Also, in November, it was discovered that the NIH had bred thousands of monkeys on a remote island for experiments. Primates have been used for various invasive and usually fatal procedures. Some were intentionally infected with tuberculosis or the Ebola virus. Others have been infected with the deadly Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus.
Since March 2018, the NIH has funneled $13.5 million toward such tests on monkeys, according to WCW.
Can you give us a hand? Over the past six years, the team behind Plant Based News has worked tirelessly to create high-quality, high-impact content that sparks dialogue and evolves the conversation around agriculture, public health, animal welfare and the climate crisis.
Over 2.8 million fans from over 100 countries read, share, engage and connect with what we cover – and that number keeps growing.
Unearthing facts often buried deep by leading (and sometimes unethical) organizations, we pride ourselves on being completely independent of commercial scrutiny.
Perhaps most importantly, we keep our content free – because everyone should have access to these discussions and have the opportunity to participate in these discussions.
In the age of information, where internet users are bombarded with stories and messages about money, keeping content stimulating, moving and above all honest accessible to everyone is at the heart of what we do.
Our goal, of course, is for as many communities as possible to engage with our reporting and open the minds of people around the world.
This is where you come in. If you are able to do so, please consider supporting us from as little as $1, as a one-time or ongoing donation. Any amount helps us continue our mission and keep the content free, for everyone.