Fauci pressed to explain ‘cruel’ grant for tests on beagles being eaten alive by insects

by WorldTribune Staff, October 24, 2021

A group of mostly-Republican members of Congress is asking National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Anthony Fauci to explain a grant from his agency which funded an experimental drug test in which dozens of beagles were infected with disease-causing parasites.

The beagles had their heads locked ‘in mesh cages filled with hungry sand flies so that the insects could eat them alive.’ / White Coat Waste Project

South Carolina Republican Rep. Nancy Mace, who is leading the congressional inquiry, wrote in a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that the experiments are “cruel” and a “reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds.”

The experiment involved injecting and force-feeding 44 beagle puppies between six and eight months old with an experimental drug for several weeks. The beagles were then killed and dissected.

The lawmakers said they were horrified when they saw an NIAID invoice which included a procedure called “cordectomy” that was being used in the experiment on the dogs. They noted that the procedure, also known as devocalization or de-barking, involves slitting a dog’s vocal cords to remove its ability to bark, howl, or cry.

The nonprofit White Coat Waste Project, which uncovered the funding of the experiments, told The Hill: “Our investigators show that Fauci’s NIH division shipped part of a $375,800 grant to a lab in Tunisia to drug beagles and lock their heads in mesh cages filled with hungry sand flies so that the insects could eat them alive. They also locked beagles alone in cages in the desert overnight for nine consecutive nights to use them as bait to attract infectious sand flies.”

A previous investigation by the White Coat Waste Project found that NIAID directed $424,455 to an experiment at the University of Georgia in September 2020 that involved infecting beagles with parasites to test an experimental drug on them. Following the tests, the dogs were killed.

The lawmakers are also asking why the NIAID continued to fund testing involving dogs when the FDA has said such tests are not required. They added: “What has NIAID done to explore the use of non-canine and non-animal alternatives to meet FDA requirements?”

The Congress members are demanding answers from Fauci by Nov. 9.

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