Pentagon’s ‘barbaric’ drug testing on beagles raises hackles of pet-loving politicians

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Pet lovers in Congress are outraged over a new discovery that the Pentagon is reportedly funding painful experimental drug tests on beagles in pursuit of FDA approval of a pharmaceutical.

A White Coat Waste Project (WCW) investigation found that the Department of Defense has spent nearly $1 million on the testing, which runs through July and involves force-feeding dogs large doses of an experimental drug to treat Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., a founding member of the Congressional Dog Caucus, criticized the report, saying taxpayer dollars should fund innovation, not animal abuse.

Mace added that she and other lawmakers previously successfully pressured then-NIAID chief Dr. Anthony Fauci to stop similar painful drug tests on puppies and solicited an admission that alternative means of testing would be possible.


Beagle dog drinking water to cool off in shade on grass hiding from summer sun. (iStock)

“It’s time to put an end to these cruel practices,” Mace said.

“These barbaric and archaic practices must be stopped, and that is why we are leading the charge by introducing bills like the PAAW Act to keep our furry friends out of the hands of the NIH.”

Mace’s Preventing Animal Abuse and Waste Act (PAAW Act), would amend the Public Health Service Act and prohibit the director of the NIH from conducting or funding research that causes significant pain or distress to dogs or cats.

Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., a top Democratic co-founder of the canine caucus, said he was disheartened to hear that beagles in particular were being experimented on in such a way:

“I’ve had beagles visit my office that were rescued from cruel testing conditions, and hearing what they’ve been through is incredibly upsetting,” he said.

“Taxpayers don’t want their money spent on unnecessary and harmful experiments. I will continue to work across the aisle with my colleagues to end inhumane testing on dogs.”



The Pentagon is seen from Air Force One as it flies over Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Justin Goodman, senior vice president of the taxpayer watchdog group WCW, told Fox News Digital in a Thursday interview that there is no federal mandate to test human experimental drugs on dogs, and went on to criticize the Pentagon for funding such testing anyway.

“The testing is being conducted ostensibly to gain FDA approval for human trials of this drug, when the FDA has said explicitly that this kind of dog testing is not mandated to test the safety of human drugs,” he said.

Goodman explained that researchers at WCW had scoured federal spending databases and recently discovered the contract.

“I think a lot of this wasteful animal testing is entrenched in the fabric of these bureaucracies,” he added.

“And that’s why groups like White Coat Waste are working with Congress to shake things up and stop wasteful spending on outdated and unnecessary testing on dogs and other animals that is opposed by the supermajority of taxpayers – and it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.”


According to WCW’s findings, the Army commissioned the experiment, and the watchdog said that such tests typically “abuse dozens of puppies and then they are killed and dissected at the end.” The Defense Department’s project began in 2023 and will run through July 31, Goodman said.

The Pentagon acknowledged but did not formally respond to a request for comment by press time, and Spinogenix – the company that was listed as the grant recipient on a document obtained by WCW – did not respond to an inquiry.

Fox News Digital also reached out to top members of both parties on the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus for additional comment.

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