UPDATE: Refuting Milbank's assertion, The American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care denies that it recommends cordectomies for dogs:
"For more than 50 years, AAALAC International has promoted the humane and responsible care, treatment, and use of animals needed to advance medical and scientific discoveries. As rightly noted in the article, this research saves lives and improves the health and well-being of both people and animals. However, the article states, 'And it is recommended by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care [sic] that the dogs undergo cordectomies to reduce anxiety (in dogs) and hearing loss (in humans) from barking.' Such a recommendation is not contained in our standards and thus AAALAC International has not made this recommendation." [emphasis in the original statement]
The great Jonathan Swift wrote "A Modest Proposal For preventing the children of poor people in Ireland, from being a burden on their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the public" as a satire on the "casual cruelty exhibited by individuals in Ireland with power who ignore or make worse the plight of the poor." Swift's fix was to fatten the children as much as possible and sell them for tasty eating thus eliminating the burden on poor parents to feed and clothe them until adulthood, providing the parents with some income and giving the wealthy a succulent new food item.
Dana Milbank has done his own modest proposal on treatment of beagle puppies in NIAID testing labs, alas, not as satire.
"Had right-wing outlets checked with the NIH, they would know that in another study, which didn’t involve Tunisia and didn’t involve flies, NIAID-funded researchers did indeed perform cordectomies on 44 beagle puppies and euthanized them after the study. And here’s why: The Food and Drug Administration requires researchers to experiment on non-rodent mammals for certain classes of HIV-AIDS drugs, and for this study specifically recommended dogs. It is necessary to use young dogs (six to eight months) to assess whether the drugs retard growth. It is mandatory that the dogs be euthanized so researchers can search for damage to organ systems. And it is recommended by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care that the dogs undergo cordectomies to reduce anxiety (in dogs) and hearing loss (in humans) from barking. (Beagles are used because of their uniform size.*)"
First, it's interesting that Milbank considers concerns about this as being from "right-wing outlets". Nine of 24 U.S. Representatives who signed an October 21, 2021, letter of concern sent to Anthony Fauci, head of NIAID, are Democrats. The right-wing has certainly expanded if it includes them.
Second, we find out from Milbank that using dogs is recommended, using puppies is necessary, killing the puppies is mandatory and cutting their vocal cords is recommended by agencies and associations not known for particular interest in the well-being of animals. Much like lobotomies and forced sterilization were at one time recommended by people and agencies (Nobel prize, federally funded eugenics boards) who had no real interest in the well-being of the victimized individuals.
Third, Milbank informs us that this testing is IMPORTANT.
"No doubt people can find some clunkers in the thousands of studies NIAID funds each year — it has 10,000 active projects . . . ."
"Above all, this is no frivolous pursuit: The drugs under study are promising next-generation antiretrovirals that can be administered to HIV/AIDS patients less frequently — potentially saving countless human lives.
Milbank asserts these studies are "promising" and "potentially" life saving. However, Milbank does not point to even one promising or potentially life saving result from any of the tests with the beagle puppies.
Which is why the 24 U.S. Representatives asked Anthony Fauci some pointed questions.
How many drug tests involving dogs have been funded by NIAID since January 2018? How much taxpayer money has been spent on this testing?
Since the Food and Drug Administration has clearly stated that it does not require dog testing for new drugs, why has NIAID continued to commission testing on dogs?**
What has NIAID done to explore the use of non-canine and non-animal alternatives to meet FDA data requirements? Please describe in detail.
Has NIAID ever made any dogs available for adoption after the conclusion of an experiment or testing? If so, how many? If no, why not?
Why has NIAID contracted for cordectomies when they appear to be scientifically and medically unnecessary? What is the average cost for each cordectomy performed?***
Whether they get an answer without calling Fauci to actually testify under oath is yet to be seen.
I personally like question 3: What has NIAID done to explore the use of non-canine and non-animal alternatives to meet FDA data requirements? Actually, I would ask that of the FDA as well. It's seems like they are stuck in the 19th century and incapable of creating or using computerized models or doing non or minimally invasive MRIs, ultrasound, needle biopsies or minimal surgeries that are done regularly both in human and veterinary medicine.A righteous person has regard for the life of his animal,
But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
PLEASE write your U.S. Senators and Representative urging them to support (or introduce a senate version of) H.R. 1744 Humane Research and Testing Act of 2021. It's goals are very modest, but at least a start.
*Miniature poodle puppies (1/2" height difference from 2 months to 6 months) and adults are much more uniform in size than beagle puppies (2"-3" height difference from 2 months to 6 months) and adults, but do not have the sweet, friendly temperament of beagles. Methinks it's the beagles lack of fight that is most attractive to researchers.
**from the October 21, 2021, letter to Fauci:“The FDA itself has recently stated that it ‘does not mandate that human drugs be studied in dogs.’”
***from the October 21, 2021, letter: “This cruel procedure [cordectomy, “involves slitting a dog’s vocal cords in order to prevent them from barking, howling, or crying.”]–which is opposed with rare exceptions by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and others”