Watchdog Group Tells VA “Let the Cat Out of the Bag”

Watchdog Group Tells VA

As taxpayers, we deserve to know how the government is spending money. After all, they are spending our money. Thankfully, we have watchdog groups who monitor spending on our behalf.

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is being sued by a group for the release of records regarding its taxpayer-funded experiments on cats. The group, known as White Coat Waste Project (WCW) advocates for the defunding of animal experiments. In their recent investigation, the WCW claims the VA in Los Angeles has spent $5 million on live cats they used for sleep experiments.

The VA denies the allegation, claiming it has only spent $14,000/ year for the last three fiscal years. It defended buying live cats for research purposes to find better ways to treat sleep disorders in veterans who have PTSD and other combat related-disorders.

Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy at WCW, stated they filed the lawsuit because taxpayers deserved to know how their money was being used, holding the VA responsible for a “kitten catastrophe.”

Asked about the lawsuit, VA spokesperson Susan Carter pointed out the WCW unsuccessfully pushed for years to ban the VA’s lifesaving research efforts using canines. Continuing, she added the WCW’s numerous claims originate from emotion.

Watchdog groups and organizations provide an essential service to American taxpayers. However, to have merit, their claims must be rooted in fact and not emotionally-based conjecture. For that reason, it appears their lawsuit is on shaky grounds.

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