Animals Abused in Taxpayer-Funded Labs Deserve a Loving Home #GiveThemBack

By Noelle Callahan, White Coat Waste Project

When White Coat Waste Project (WCW) convinced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to cancel nicotine addiction experiments on baby monkeys earlier this year, the agency also agreed to send the 26 young primates to a sanctuary.

Baby monkeys pressed levers for nicotine hits.

Squirrel monkeys like Gregory were confined for nicotine testing at a U.S. Food and Drug Administration laboratory. Gregory’s photo – and eventual retirement – was obtained by White Coat Waste Project’s campaign.

Now, in a historic new campaign, WCW is working with Congress to secure retirement for all dogs, cats and primates who survive government experiments. Taxpayers are forced to pay over $15 billion for wasteful, painful and unnecessary animal experiments every year.

Taxpayers bought these animals. Now we want Uncle Sam to #GiveThemBack.

More than 9,000 dogs, cats and primates are locked in government labs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other agencies. Far too often, when these taxpayer-funded experiments are defunded, canceled or completed, healthy animals are killed out of convenience, instead of being given a second chance in loving homes or sanctuaries.

Photo of dogs confined for experimentation at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs laboratory. Photo obtained by White Coat Waste Project through the Freedom of Information Act.

Photo of dogs confined for experimentation at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs laboratory. Photo obtained by White Coat Waste Project through the Freedom of Information Act.

For nearly 50 years, the USDA has wasted $22 million tax dollars to breed kittens, feed them parasite-infected raw meat, collect their stool to harvest parasites, and then kill the healthy and adoptable cats before they’re 3-months-old. They are slaughtered and incinerated like trash.

Thousands of kittens killed in USDA research could have been treated and adopted instead, experts say.” – New York Daily News, 6/15/18

3,000 kittens have already been slaughtered and incinerated at the USDA. Some were even denied pain relief and anesthesia.

But there’s some good news: Congress is working with WCW on the bipartisan KITTEN Act to defund these experiments, and the U.S. Senate passed legislation urging the USDA to stop the tests and adopt out the survivors.

We’ve also convinced the VA to enact the federal government’s first official policy supporting lab animal retirement. In its new policy, the agency writes: “VA has an ethical obligation to arrange for placement of healthy and socially adjusted animals with suitable adoptive families whenever possible through placement organizations, and fully supports efforts to do so.” This policy is especially important at the VA since—due to a WCW campaign—Congress has restricted and defunded the VA’s dog experimentation, and the VA has tightened the reins on primate and cat testing.

Photo of cat at U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory (“Kitten Slaughterhouse”) in Beltsville, MD.

Photo of cat at U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory (“Kitten Slaughterhouse”) in Beltsville, MD. White Coat Waste Project obtained these photos through the Freedom of Information Act.

A powerful bipartisan coalition of over two dozen influential Congress members now wants to see these changes happen across the entire federal government.

In a recent letter sent to eight agency heads, the lawmakers–citing several of WCW’s victories–wrote: “Our constituents are increasingly concerned about the welfare of animals used in federally-funded research and strongly support research animal adoption and retirement. We agree that cats, dogs and primates that survive taxpayer-funded government research should be provided with an opportunity to find suitable non-laboratory homes at the completion of studies.”

If you also agree, tell Congress to retire lab animals at the end of government experiments.

Noelle Callahan is the Public Policy Manager at White Coat Waste Project, a taxpayer watchdog group committed to ending $15 billion a year in wasteful and cruel taxpayer-funded animal experiments.




Shirley P
Shirley Plowman2 months ago


Mark Donner
Mark Donner2 months ago

I'm afraid the VA hasn't changed its colors they are still determined to go ahead with the torture of dogs even without funding. The VA is staffed and run by vicious criminals and sadists, which is the case for most government agencies which become a magnet for the worst psychotic human beings on the planet. The only way to stop the VA since they are criminals that can't be rehabilitated as is the case with other criminal agencies such as Fish and Wildlife, USDA, BLM, Dept of the Interior, USDA and its "wildlife services" is with laws and enforcement.

susan a
susan a2 months ago

I think the rule of thumb should be,if we wouldn't like it to be done to us then it shouldn't be done to animals,end of!!!!

Joy T
Joy T2 months ago

S. & S.'d.!

Michael F
Michael Friedmann2 months ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

Terri S
Terri S2 months ago

Stop experimenting on animals altogether!!!!!!!!!!!

rita uljee
rita uljee2 months ago

i signed but this cruel expirementing with animals must stop its very very cruel and has no meaning at all for humans and therefore a shameful wast of precious animal life!

Shirley S
Shirley S2 months ago

In cases like these I HATE scientists ! They can be so CRUEL & HEARTLESS to innocent animals !

Fred L
Fred L2 months ago

Karen and Ed O.~ Yes, inmates are human beings, and that's why they make more suitable subjects. They should have a choice as to whether they participate or not, and they should be rewarded (cigarettes, canteen credit, more yard time, etc.) if they choose to. Better to experiment on a willing inmate than an animal that has no choice.

Ann B
Ann B2 months ago