The White Coat Waste Project is an advocate for animals – and taxpayers.
The nonprofit, bipartisan group is not your typical animal rights organization – they don’t take a position on cosmetics testing or vegan nutrition, for example, but they are opposed to taxpayer-funded animal testing and call for greater transparency in animal research.
The group will present a report on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, at a briefing co-hosted by Reps. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Ken Calvert (R-Calif.). The report, titled “Spending to Death,” sheds light on “how government laboratories are conducting wasteful, bizarre and deadly experiments on beagles, hounds, and mixed-breed dogs—even puppies—with little or no transparency about what is being done and what it costs taxpayers.”
The group found that in 2015, nearly 1,200 dogs were used for testing at the National Institutes of Health, Defense Department, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Veterans Affairs. However, these government agencies so far have failed to “disclose what they are doing, how much they are spending, the purpose or outcome, or what happens to the puppies and adult dogs unfortunate enough to be the subjects.”
White Coast Waste, led by Republican strategist Anthony Bellotti and former PETA employee Justin Goodman, aims to unite fiscal conservatives and animal rights activists by drawing attention to wasteful and non transparent animal testing paid for by the public.
“This is a discussion about government transparency, and if taxpayers are going to be forced to fund this work, which they are, we should at least know what’s being done and how much it costs,” Goodman said.
“Taxpayers being forced to pay untold millions for abusing dogs in government experiments have a right to know what’s being done and what it costs,” Bellotti echoed. “Agencies are secretively spending to death on dog experiments that a majority of Americans want defunded and phased out.”
The group asserts that “59% of Americans want to cut taxpayer funding for experiments on dogs, 75% of people want them phased-out altogether, and 66% want spending information on all taxpayer-funded animal experiments to be publicly-available.” They hope that public support coupled with president-elect Trump’s voiced concern about government waste will lead to the end of government-funded animal testing of all kinds.