On May 14, FASEB submitted a letter to the Senate Military Construction, Veteran Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee regarding proposed changes to canine research conducted at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill which included language prohibiting the VA from conducting any canine research study classified to pain category D or E as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In its letter, FASEB strongly urged the committee to reject this language in the FY2020 Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill, and emphasized the detrimental effect this research policy will have for veterans and all Americans. FASEB reiterated that the number of dogs utilized in biomedical research makes up only 0.05 percent of VA research projects. While representing a very small proportion of the agency’s research, VA’s canine research program is vital for addressing numerous human diseases including cardiovascular disease and spinal cord injury.