Dog Experiments At Veterans Affairs Set For Formal Review
The need for and practice of dog experiments at Veterans Affairs for research purposes will be reviewed for animal treatment and to assess the need for the work to continue.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) started its formal review of VA studies using dog experiments at four VA facilities. The goal is to assess whether the agency is properly treating the dogs and to assess whether the work VA is performing on dogs instead of veterans is required.
Depending on the outcome of the review, VA would be the second federal agency to shut down a specific animal research program in 3 years joining the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which previously shut down its chimpanzee research program.
The move against VA’s dog experiments is spearheaded by White Coat Waste Project. Various advocates including myself have thrown their hats in the ring in support of shutting down the program. While I appreciate the need for animal research in certain circumstances, I do not support VA working on dogs when it should be working on veterans.
Let someone else do the dog research – – especially since private industry tends to be the largest winner with the research, not veterans. But that is not VA’s position.
About a year ago, VA reversed its previous position in support of the program. Shulkin eventually reversed and severely restricted the research. Suddenly, the day after Shulkin was fired, a document surfaced supposedly signed by Shulkin turning the spigot back on for dog experiments. Now, the current secretary, Robert Wilkie, supports the research, again.
is there big money supporting this program?
Michael Fallon, VA’s chief veterinary medical officer, spoke early in the session. “The VA doesn’t want a media debate based on emotional arguments—we want a scientific debate,” he said. “Shutting down this research would deny veterans important cures.”
VA cites use of its dog research in development of liver transplants, hip replacements, and other treatments, as support for its ongoing funding. However, many of these developments are decades old.
Nina Wertam, a program manager at The Human Society of the United States reminds VA, “Historic use is not justification for continued use.”
Cindy Buckmaster, chair of the board of directors of Americans for Medical Progress, a nonprofit that promotes the need for animal experimentation. “The findings from this report will impact how science is done on dogs across the country.”
Buckmaster is pleased the NASEM review is taking place. “There hasn’t been a lot of nuance in this debate,” she says. “It’s important that the public understands exactly what goes into these studies—and why they are needed.”
Now, the NASEM is formerly NIH that researched burn pit and other problems without much movement in the science in support of veterans affected. It will be interesting to see how the NASEM conducts the review and their specific findings. I doubt VA will fully stop its program, but it should.
There are many organizations likely better situated to conduct animal research, anyway. VA should keep its focus on what it does most, conduct experiments on veterans full time.
I find it asinine that the VA is using ‘man’s best friend’ for research purpose given that their physiology/genetics are so vastly different than humans. Why not use animals with more similar physiology/genetics to humans?
Animals that are much more like humans, and suited for comparative research in the furtherance of medical science are:
1. Chimpanzees: Chimpanzees share somewhere between 98.6 and 99 percent of our DNA. They’re closer to humans than they are to gorillas.
2. Bonobos: Bonobos vary only slight from chimps. In fact, the two-share 99.6 percent of their DNA.
3. Gorillas: Though appearances might suggest otherwise, we’re also closer in relation to gorillas than gorillas are to chimps. We share 98 percent of our genetic sequence with these majestic fellas.
4. Orangutans: These share 97 percent of their DNA with humans. It turns out male orangutans like to offer effusive displays of “tough-guy” syndrome by leaping around and breaking things before a fight. It’s classic “come at me, bro” showmanship. Much like human males.
8. Cats: Cats share 90 percent of our genes. They might have also purposely inserted themselves into our homes. Evidence suggests these guys self-domesticated over 10,000 years ago by helping farmers in order to get a little extra protection and food. (Sorry, Nam).
9. Cows: Humans are related to cows. Research has shown that we share more genomes with them than we do with rodents, even though we share a more recent ancestor with mice. It is thought the reason is because rodents and smaller animals in general reproduce more rapidly leading to faster evolution. The jury is still out on this one though.
Dogs rank quite high on the list of dissimilarities with humans. To cite just one difference, how may humans have you met in your life that have three eyelids? All dogs have them.
It is way past time for some real leadership at the VA. Leadership that speaks truth publicly about how bad things have really gotten. Leadership that develops solutions to take better care of ALL our nations warriors.
Leadership that recognizes that when they are doing a good job, it will be veterans singing their praises rather than the VA needing a PR Agency to put out “Fluff Pieces” to mislead America and her citizens about what a stellar job they are doing. They are not. In fact, they are doing a very piss-poor job.
The VA has a first-world budget which they use to provide veterans less than third-world medical care and benefits. Current VA leadership has their Brain Housing Group the size of mice and their Heart no bigger. It is about TWENTY YEARS PAST TIME TO FIX THE DAMN BROKEN VA:
1. IMMEDIATELY recognize the problems inherent in the VA are SYSTEM-WIDE, not just limited to a few locations.
2. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee.
3. Sell off all the VA facilities. Alternatively, they may be converted into military barracks-style housing for homeless veterans. These will be run with military-style rules to promote good order and discipline.
4. Issue all veterans a card that allows them to choose their own doctors within their community that they can TRUST.
5. The United States Government will PAY those doctors promptly (Within 45 days) for the care they provide veterans.
6. ELIMINATE the “Federal Protection” Umbrella for incompetent QUACKS that the VA sends to other states to practice other than their own. Going to practice in XX state? You need to be LICENSED in XX state.
7. Any claim a veteran submits to the VBA that requires more than 90 days to adjudicate, is automatically found to be in favor of the veteran. Should a veteran file a false claim to scam the system, the VA will have to prove in civil court that the claim was falsely submitted. For filing a false claim, the veteran will be subject to ALL the following:
(A). The claim shall be denied. If the veteran has received any form of benefits due to the false claim they will be required to fully repay the benefits, with interest.
(B). The veteran will be banned from all VA facilities for the remainder of their life.
(C). The veteran will lose all benefits they originally were receiving, and will not be allowed to file for further benefits.
8. All veterans will be allowed to seek/retain the services of a Veterans Rights Attorney from their first initial contact with the VA. This will help to protect the legal rights of veterans against corrupt and incompetent VA employees.
9. No AFGE, nor any other Labor Union business will be allowed to take place in any Federal Workplace. Conducting Union Business during working hours will be STRICTLY PROHIBITED and will be STRICTLY ENFORCED. Should any government employee be found violating this provision, it will result in IMMEDIATE LIFETIME DISMISSAL FROM ANY/ALL STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYMENT.
10. Attorneys for appeal will be retained at the former employee’s PERSONAL expense. U. S. Taxpayer’s will not be subject to payment of legal bills for incompetent or dishonest personnel with regards to Governmental Employment.
Our battles overseas were far less stressful than our war here at home. Never Cruel or Cowardly. Never Give Up. Never Give In. We are on the Righteous path.
Rhetoric is cheap. Congressional Voting Records on veterans’ issues speak louder than words.
NO Combat Veteran should be surprised when the next Mass Shooting or Bombing attempt occurs. Bound to happen. Just a matter of time . . .
We have now reached the next accelerative phase of our country falling apart. Country before Party. Principles before Personalities. Always.
Want to REALLY fix the VA? The next SecVA needs to be a former Enlisted Man brought in from the general veteran population with a few serious axes to grind against the VA and the AFGE, with zero previous governmental civilian service. Apparently, Former Flag Officers and SES appointed Civilians can’t cut the mustard . . .
Maybe a SINCERELY MOTIVATED Gunnery Sergeant or Chief Petty Officer CAN.
1973 – 1976 USMC
1978 – 1993 USN
Playing with Rattlesnakes and Armadillos
Come near me or my dog and guess what’s gonna happen? Does BOOM ring a bell VA douchebags?
The VA system has plenty of big wig flunkies that can and should replace the poor puppy dogs who are just innocent subjects to a cruel testing procedures, they tend to get relocated and promoted and simply isn’t fair
Your ending comment, “There are many organizations likely better situated to conduct animal research, anyway. VA should keep its focus on what it does most, conduct experiments on veterans full time”, too funny!
I’m thinking it’s about time the dogs revolt against the VA Umbrella Company because the dogs want to know what the tensile-strength tolerance is of VA employee’s being stretched by several VA canine test subjects into the form of a thin basketball court-sized saturated fat ass pancake.
(my cat wrote that^)
Fuck you VA you cocksuckers.
Also, fuck you oversight committee in congress. Fucking demorat cocksuckin commies.
can’t get help with simple pain meds, but they will play with puppies
Why use dogs? They have plenty of human subjects they make a part of their research without telling them. A million that have signed up without specifically being told the what, why, when and where of studies they are unknowingly in.
Did I just imply that the VA Research facilities treat veterans worse than dogs are treated by your local dog pound? Yes, and I meant it.
My sentiments exactly, Lem!
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