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  • Washington Highlights

    FOVA, AAMC Oppose Restrictions on Use of Dogs in VA Medical Research

    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs

    The executive committee of the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA) coalition sent an Aug. 25 letter to House Appropriations Committee Chair Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) opposing legislation that would prohibit the use of dogs in medical research at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

    The FOVA executive committee letter comes in response to an amendment offered by Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 3219), a minibus that includes the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies spending bill, as well as three other appropriations bills, which the House passed July 27 [see Washington Highlights, July 28].

    The letter states, “Animal models play an essential role in advancing our understanding of human health and disease,” and continues, “While we understand and appreciate the efforts to reduce use of dogs in animal research, we believe the policy included in the appropriations bill will impede scientific research and unnecessarily delay research advances for our nation’s veterans.”

    The FOVA executive committee includes AAMC, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, American Thoracic Society, American Psychological Association, National Association of Veterans’ Research and Education Foundations, and the Federation of American Societies for experimental Biology.