As a U.S. Navy veteran, I applaud Congressman Rick Allen, R-Ga., for supporting bipartisan legislation – the PUPPERS Act – to cut taxpayer funding for painful and unnecessary experimentation on beagles and hound puppies by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
This is yet another example of VA’s lacking accountability and misplaced priorities.
For instance, 20 veterans commit suicide every day and the VA is still struggling to effectively combat this tragic problem. This past week, Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said VA Secretary David Shulkin “has prioritized suicide prevention as a focus of his leadership.”
Yet, September is Suicide Prevention Month and Sec. Shulkin’s recent national op-ed was instead a defense of continued federal funding for severing dogs’ spinal cords, drilling into their skulls and giving them heart attacks in horrific and outdated testing at a tiny group of VA facilities.
The VA needs to get its priorities straight, and I know I speak for most veterans when I say that one of them should not be torturing dogs.