President Joe Biden’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) wants to abuse cats in painful and unnecessary experiments despite funding restrictions enacted by Congress during the Trump Administration and opposition from both Republican and Democrat lawmakers.
The VA’s plan to restart cat testing was first exposed by government watchdog White Coat Waste Project this summer.
Timcast News has now exclusively obtained an August 2023 letter from Patricia Ross, the VA’s Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs, to Congress that contains a series of false and misleading claims attempting to justify the VA’s scheme to hurt cats in needless medical device experiments. Ross previously worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and states in her official biography on the VA website that she has two dogs.
In her response to a letter about the testing from Army veteran Republican Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) and Democrat Dina Titus (D-NV), Ross states that the project at the VA’s Cleveland laboratory will cost taxpayers $50,000 and that the cat testing is “required” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for regulatory approval of a new medical device and that no alternatives are available.
However, legislation sponsored by Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was enacted last year eliminating the FDA’s animal testing requirements following work by White Coat Waste and others.
The Biden Administration and Anthony Fauci also sought to conduct needless drug tests on dogs last year claiming they were “required” for FDA approval. However, following an investigation by White Coat Waste and pressure from Republican Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Dr. Fauci personally admitted that “after consultation with the Food and Drug Administration” the dog testing was deemed unnecessary and that rodents could be used instead. The dog tests were completely canceled.
Federal law currently states that the VA may only conduct testing on cats if, “The scientific objectives…can only be met by using…felines.”
Yet, while stating the tests are “required,” the VA’s Ross also admitted to Congress in her August letter that the agency, “has not specifically solicited FDA input” regarding the proposed cat tests. The FDA states clearly in guidance documents for device testing that they “encourage sponsors to consult with us if they wish to use a non-animal testing method.”
Assistant Secretary Ross’s August letter to Congress also includes statements about the cat testing that directly contradict the VA’s approved application for the project that was personally signed off on by Biden’s VA Secretary Denis McDonough.
Ross told Reps. Mast and Titus that the cats will undergo “6 months of painless observation and evaluation.”
But the VA-approved protocol for these experiments obtained by WCW classifies the tests in USDA Pain Category D, meaning that the study will cause the cats pain and distress. The VA’s documents explain that seven cats will be implanted with medical devices and wiring in their legs and backs and that they may experience ongoing pain, infections, and nerve damage leading to paralysis.
The protocol specifically describes, “Possible pain from connector implant and percutaneous leads” and states that the procedure can lead to, “infection of the implant or skin where the leads exit that is not responsive to antibiotics, or signs of neurologic dysfunction, weakness, or pain secondary to the implant.”
Ross also wrote to Congress that, “Cats will not be euthanized as part of this study, and each cat will be paired with a forever home.” However, the approved protocol for these cat experiments states that there may be instances in which “euthanasia must be performed.”
There is also reason to question the VA’s commitment to retiring the cats. In at least one case, the Cleveland VA told the press that it adopted out dogs when, in fact, records obtained by White Coat Waste subsequently showed that it killed them. A new federal complaint filed by the group this week also demands that the Cleveland VA return millions in taxpayer funding for illegally performing experiments on cats and other animals for a nine-month period in 2021.
Assistant Secretary Ross confirmed that as of her late August letter, the Cleveland VA’s cat testing had not yet begun. White Coat Waste says that thousands of its supporters have called and emailed the Biden White House, the VA and Congress demanding that the project be canceled. The group is also running a TV ad campaign starting this week urging the public to call President Biden.
Justin Goodman, Senior Vice President at White Coat Waste told Timcast News, “The VA stopped cat testing back in 2021 following our campaigns and now Joe Biden’s VA is brazenly lying to Congress to ram through a new illegal, wasteful and cruel cat test. Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay and we’re demanding that the VA cancel its preposterous plan to put more cats under the knife in a reckless spending spree opposed by Republicans and Democrats in Congress and on Main Street.”