The National Institutes of Health has defended itself after shocking images were widely circulated showing beagle puppies being eaten alive by sand flies in experiments allegedly funded by the NIH.
The Maryland-based organization on Monday evening told DailyMail.com that the pictures of the dogs with their heads enclosed in netting – being attacked by the flies as part of research into leishmaniasis, a serious parasitic disease transmitted by sand flies – were not from their experiments.
The NIH said that they did do leishmaniasis research on dogs in a laboratory in 2016, and in an enclosed open space in Tunisia, but not the research pictured.
‘The images of beagles were drawn from a manuscript published in July 2021 in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,’ a NIH spokesman.
‘The manuscript mistakenly cited support from NIAID, when in fact NIAID did not support this specific research shown in the images of the beagles being circulated.’
The White Coat Waste Project published shocking photos of beagle puppies with their heads locked in mesh cages so sand flies could eat the dogs. The National Institutes of Health on Monday night said that they had not funded the experiments in the pictures
NIAID is the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – part of NIH. NIAID has been run since 1984 by Dr Anthony Fauci.
The spokesman did confirm, however, that some of the beagles had their vocal chords cut, insisting that the practice was common in scientific settings.
‘Vocal cordectomies, conducted humanely under anesthesia, may be used in research facilities where numerous dogs are present,’ the spokesman said.
‘This is to reduce noise, which is not only stressful to the animals but can also reach decibel levels that exceed OSHA allowable limits for people and can lead to hearing loss.’
The images were published in September by White Coat Waste Project, a group which describes itself as ‘a taxpayer watchdog group representing more than 2 million liberty-lovers and animal-lovers who all agree: taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay over $20 billion every year for wasteful and cruel experiments on dogs, cats, monkeys and other animals.’
In response, a group of 24 lawmakers, led by Congresswoman Nancy Mace, a Republican representing South Carolina, are demanding Fauci provide answers about the experiments they believe to be ‘cruel’ and a ‘reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds.’
‘According to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, and subsequent media coverage, from October 2018 until February 2019, NIAID spent $1.86million in taxpayer funds on drug tests involving 44 beagle puppies,’ the letter from lawmakers reads.
‘While documents state that the ostensible purpose of this study was to ‘provide data of suitable quality and integrity to support application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies,’ the FDA itself has recently stated that it ‘does not mandate that human drugs be studied in dogs.”
The sand flies would gnaw on the dogs’ ears, eating them alive
Two weeks ago, the White Coat Waste Project revealed that close to $1.68million was spent on experiments on a total of 44 beagles at Sri International in Menlo Park, California, in which the puppies received cordectomies and were force-fed drugs before being killed and dissected.
Another $375,800 was provided as a grant to a lab in Tunisia to drug beagle puppies.
The team had previously, in 2016, strapped the infectious sand flies to beagles at the NIAID lab in Bethesda, Maryland, allowing them to feed on the dogs for 22 months.
The White Coat Waste Project alleges that the dogs developed infectious legions before researchers killed and dissected them.
This procedure cost $18,430,917.
The White Coat Waste Project also revealed that close to $1.68million was spent on experiments on a total of 44 beagles at Sri International in Menlo Park, California, in which the puppies received cordectomies and were force-fed drugs before being killed and dissected
In 2016, the researchers strapped sand flies to beagles at the NIAID lab in Bethesda, Maryland, allowing them to feed on the dogs for 22 months, according to the White Coat Waste Project
The White Coat Waste Project alleges that the 2016 experiment caused the dogs to develop infectious legions before researchers killed and dissected them
In September 2020, Fauci’s agency reportedly authorized a $424,000 grant for animal experiments at the University of Georgia, where healthy beagles were drugged and then intentionally infested with parasite-carrying flies
In September 2020, Fauci’s agency reportedly authorized a $424,000 grant for animal experiments at the University of Georgia, where healthy beagles were drugged and then intentionally infested with parasite-carrying flies.
Records show the dogs were ‘vocalizing in pain’ during the experiments, before being killed.
The group of legislators has asked Fauci and his researchers to answer the following by November 19:
- How many drug tests involving dogs have been funded by NIAID since January 2018? How much taxpayer money has been spent on this testing?
- Since the Food and Drug Administration has clearly stated that it does not require dog testing for new drugs, why has NIAID continued to commission testing on dogs?
- What has NIAID done to explore the use of non-canine and non-animal alternatives to meet FDA data requirements?
- Has NIAID ever made any dogs available for adoption after the conclusion of an experiment or testing? If so, how many? if so, why not?
- Why has NIAID contracted for cordectomies when they appear to be scientifically and medically unnecessary? What is the average cost for each cordectomy performed?
A group of 24 bi-partisan legislators are demanding answered and have called the experiments ‘cruel’ and a ‘reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds’
‘De-barking beagles and poisoning puppies in experiments with our tax dollars is a national disgrace that’s uniting Republicans and Democrats, and we applaud Rep. Nancy Mace and her colleagues on both sides of the aisle for holding the NIH accountable for this government waste and animal abuse,’ said Justin Goodman, Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy at White Coat Waste Project, in a statement provided to DailyMail.com.
The animal testing allegations come after Fauci was accused of lying to Congress by claiming the US did not fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab blamed by some for creating COVID.
The National Institutes of Health admitted on Wednesday to funding gain of function research on bat coronaviruses in it’s Wuhan laboratory, despite Dr. Fauci’s denials to congress that such research took place.
The admission came in a letter addressed Kentucky congressman James Comer, in which NIH’s principal deputy director Lawrence A. Tabak refers to a ‘limited experiment’ conducted to test if ‘spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model,’ at the Wuhan lab.
According to Tabak, the mice infected with the modified bat virus ‘became sicker’ than those infected with the unmodified bat virus.
The lawmakers expect Fauci (pictured) to answer their questions by November 19
While never using the term, Tabak essentially confirms that gain of function research.
It looks at both transmitting disease between animals and humans and is a way for scientists to alter organisms and diseases.
They can then study how these diseases could become deadlier or more transmissible, took place at the Chinese lab despite consistent denials from Dr. Fauci.
The letter shifts the blame to U.S non profit EcoHealth Alliance, which used NIH money to fund research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, for not being transparent about the kind of research they were doing.
‘EcoHealth failed to report this finding right away, as was required by the terms of the grant,’ Tabak wrote in his letter.
‘EcoHealth is being notified that they have five days from today to submit to NIH any and all unpublished data from the experiments and work conducted under this award.’
Fauci has testified on several occasions before Congress that American taxpayers never financed what is called ‘gain of function’ research in China – which would make a virus more contagious or deadly.
In May, Fauci testified that the NIH ‘has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’
However, in September, The Intercept revealed it had received 900 pages of documents detailing the work of EcoHealth Alliance’s research in Wuhan, China.
The files showed that in 2014, the National Health Institute approved a five-year, yearly grant of $666,000 a year for five years ($3.3million) for EcoHealth Alliance, a US research organization, into bat coronavirus.
NIH’s principal deputy director Lawrence A. Tabak admitted to funding gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses in it’s Wuhan laboratory
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been fingered as the potential source of COVID-19. It received $599,000 in US government money from the EcoHealth Alliance for its study on coronaviruses in bats
EcoHealth Alliance, in its proposal to the NIH, acknowledged the risks involved were ‘the highest risk of exposure to SARS or other CoVs’ among staff, who could then carry it out of the lab.
The NIH gave them the money anyway – something Fauci was previously forced to admit when testifying before Congress in May this year. EcoHealth Alliance then gave $599,000 of the money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The approval notice for the grant is 528 pages long. It describes how EcoAlliance would receive yearly payments, totaling $3.3million over five years.
The funding was renewed in 2019 but was abruptly cut short in April 2020, once COVID-19 had spread throughout the world.