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White Coat Waste is bringing in the new year by issuing a lawsuit against the NIH over its animal experimentation practices.

According to White Coat Waste, labs are required to have animal care committee oversight to help lessen abuse and waste in animal experiments. However, the NIH has a rule that exempts foreign labs from this requirement. This loophole is an obvious violation of federal law, and can result in even more extreme and unnecessary abuse of animals since the animal care committee is responsible for ensuring some level of humane treatment in animal experiments.

Daniel López, Research Manager at taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, commented, “The NIH’s illegal Foreign Animal Lab Loophole allows cruel, wasteful and dangerous taxpayer-funded animal experiments overseas to go unchecked by exempting them from legally-mandated review and monitoring by oversight committees. Because of this illegal loophole, foreign labs receiving our tax dollars have carte blanche to break US laws, abuse animals and leak dangerous pathogens and not even report it to the NIH. For the sake of animals and taxpayers, the NIH must eliminate the illegal Foreign Animal Lab Loophole immediately.”

This is not the only controversy currently surrounding the NIH. PETA recently accused the NIH of buying dogs from Envigo, an abusive breeding facility, following a 7-months-long investigation into the facility. The investigation revealed hundreds of dog deaths as well as veterinarian care carried out by nonprofessionals without pain control. Routine inspections also revealed that the dogs were kept in filthy conditions in very high heat. Many were in pain and were found to have sores or injuries as well as dental issues.

PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch said, “If the puppies at Envigo survive being born into a barren cage, blasted with a high-pressure hose, and being subjected to painful procedures, they’re sold to laboratories to be experimented on.”

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