Virginia Congressman introduces bill to limit dog testing at the VA

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, explains his position to a TV interviewer before his group met with President Donald Trump as the GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" moves to a showdown vote, Thursday, March 23, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Congressman Dave Brat is introducing a bill to limit testing on dogs at veterans hospitals.

This move comes after several 8News investigations exposing deadly dog experiments at Richmond’s McGuire V-A Medical Center.

The bill has been dubbed the PUPPERS ACT – Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures And Experiments on Respected Species. The legislation would prohibit the V-A from conducting medical research that causes significant pain or distress to dogs.

Our 8News investigations have uncovered at least 118 dogs implanted with pacemakers then forced to run on a treadmill until they collapse.

Most of the animals are then euthanized.

A recent federal inspection at the McGuire found extensive violations of animal welfare regulations and research protocols.

In a statement, Congressman Brat said:

“The revelations regarding the dog laboratory testing at McGuire VAMC are disturbing and the descriptions are almost on the scale of torture. We must have quality health care for our veterans and the best medical research, but I believe there are alternative and more humane methods that can lead to similar medical breakthroughs. It is clear from this investigation the conditions at the McGuire VAMC in Richmond are not meeting the highest standards and healthy puppies are suffering through induced heart attack studies as a result. Our bill sets clearly defined expectations for medical research and will prohibit research at taxpayer-funded VA facilities that causes significant pain or distress for puppies.”

The bill has bipartisan support. Representative and Democrat Dina Titus from Nevada has co-sponsored the legislation.

You can read the bill in full here.

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