Congress members demand Fauci explain alleged NIAID funding of 'cruel' dog experiments

A watchdog group claims 44 beagle puppies were used in experiments for human drugs.

Updated: October 24, 2021 - 10:34pm

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), along with several other House members, sent a letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci, demanding he respond to allegations made by the White Coat Waste Project that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has used taxpayer funding for "cruel" experiments performed on dogs.

White Coat Waste Project, a D.C.-based, taxpayer watchdog group that found out taxpayers were funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology, has claimed that in a laboratory in Tunisia, North Africa, 44 beagle puppies were used for testing an experimental drug by infecting them with disease-causing parasites, according to The Hill.

Vocal cords were removed from some of the dogs to allegedly prevent them from barking as the scientists worked.

"Our investigators show that Fauci's NIH division shipped part of a $375,800 grant to a lab in Tunisia to drug beagles and lock their heads in mesh cages filled with hungry sand flies so that the insects could eat them alive," White Coat Waste Project told The Hill. "They also locked beagles alone in cages in the desert overnight for nine consecutive nights to use them as bait to attract infectious sand flies."

As has been previously reported by ABC News' local affiliate WJLA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't require dogs to be used for testing human drugs, so the White Coat Waste Project is asking why this testing is needed.

Mace detailed the experiments in her letter to Fauci, writing that "from October 2018 until February 2019, NIAID spent $1.68 million in taxpayer funds on drug tests involving 44 beagle puppies. The dogs were all between six and eight months old. The commissioned tests involved injecting and force-feeding the puppies an experimental drug for several weeks, before killing and dissecting them."

She noted that documents claim the purpose of the study was "to provide data of suitable quality and integrity to support application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies," despite the FDA recently acknowledging that dog testing was not required. Thus, one of her questions to NIAID asked why the dog testing has continued in light of the FDA not requiring it.

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