The White Coat Waste Project, a non-profit organisation, has accused the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of funding a project in which beagles were infected with disease-causing parasites in order to test an experimental drug.
White Coat Waste claims that 44 beagle puppies were used in a laboratory in Tunisia, North Africa, and that some of the dogs had their vocal cords removed, ostensibly so scientists could work without being interrupted by constant barking.
US lawmakers are demanding answers from top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci in response to reports that an institute led by him funded “cruel” drug toxicity experiments on dogs.
Some Democrats, including Reps. Cindy Axne of Iowa and Jimmy Gomez of California, signed the letter.
According to documents, the NIAID spent $1.68 million in taxpayer funds on animal experiments.
“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 said.
“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,” the group added.
The White Coat Waste Project, a non-profit government watchdog, obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request. According to the watchdog, this is the fourth NIAID-funded experiment on beagles that it has been able to uncover.
Lawmakers are curious as to why these tests were conducted if the FDA does not require new drugs to be tested on dogs.