GOP Senator Brings Fauci to Heel, Cancels Taxpayer-Funded Drug Testing on Beagle Puppies

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has brought Dr. Anthony Fauci to heel by canceling his agency’s taxpayer-funded plan to start new tests of allergy medicine on beagles, some only 6 months old.

Fauci and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID, his division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)) have come under fire for reportedly funding tests on drugged beagle puppies.

The experiments were revealed by the nonprofit group White Coat Waste which obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) that appear to show NIAID spent $1.68 million in taxpayer money for experiments on beagle puppies in a lab in Tunisia.

Those experiments reportedly involved testing drugs on the animals and in some cases, they were “de-barked” through a procedure called a cordectomy.

Animal rights group PETA slammed the experiments as “appalling” and an “atrocity.”

“Dr. Fauci was barking up the wrong tree when he decided to use government dollars on dog testing,” Ernst said.

“These inhumane practices have no place in our government – much less on the taxpayer’s dime.

“Thankfully, after voicing our concerns and shining a light on these heinous tactics, taxpayers can rest easy knowing their hard-earned money is not going towards dog abuse.”

“We’re thrilled that following a White Coat Waste Project exposé and advocacy by Waste Warrior Sen. Joni Ernst, Dr. Fauci’s ‘runny nose’ experiments on beagle puppies have been completely canceled,” said Devin Murphy, the Public Policy and Communications Manager at the White Coat Waste Project.

“This is a decisive victory in the War on Waste, and sends a message to big-spending white coats across the federal government: taxpayers should not be forced to pay for wasteful, unnecessary, and cruel animal experiments.

“After WCW’s #BeagleGate investigation first exposed NIAID’s barbaric beagle experiments, Members of Congress in both parties, and Americans across the political spectrum, were outraged — and rightfully so.

“Taxpayers and animal lovers in Iowa and across the nation are grateful for Sen. Ernst’s outstanding commitment to government transparency and the responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”

Fauci has previously tried to defend his actions.

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“Although the contract to Inimmune Corporation proposed the use of murine and canine preclinical animal models, after consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company elected to proceed using two rodent models only,” Fauci wrote to Ernst.

“No experiments utilizing the canine model are being conducted under this contract.”

“I want to assure you that NIH and NIAID take the welfare of animals in research very seriously,” Fauci added.

“NIH has established guidance, procedures, and protocols to ensure that … scientists maintain the highest possible standards for the humane care and use of animals in research.”

Ernst’s office issued a statement that said:

“Ernst demanded answers from Dr. Fauci on the unnecessary use of dogs in federally-funded testing following past experiments that included cutting out their vocal cords, infesting them with ticks, and placing them in cages with infectious sandflies.

“After U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) raised serious concerns over reports of unnecessary dog testing in an upcoming medical trial by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NIH announced they would be ending the use of dog test subjects.

“The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the NIH, recently awarded a new contract to the tune of $1.8 million in taxpayer money to test experimental drugs on animals, including dogs.

“Ernst demanded answers from Dr. Fauci, the head of NIAID, on the unnecessary use of dogs in federally-funded testing by the NIH, specifically in the upcoming NIAID contract, in light of past experiments under Dr. Fauci that included cutting out their vocal cords, infesting the dogs with ticks, and placing dogs in cages with infectious sandflies.

“In May, reports surfaced stating that the NIH was planning to use dogs as test subjects in the upcoming project,” the statement said.

“In response, Ernst sent a letter calling for answers to these reports and more humane, alternative test models to be used. Last week, Ernst received a response from the NIH, confirming that dogs would no longer be used in the trial.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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