The use of dogs in research at Department of Veterans Affairs laboratories is unnecessary in most cases and should be halted, according to a report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Research involving canines should be undertaken only in cases where there is no alternative that would deliver valid results, the harm to the dogs outweighs any potential benefits to veterans, and when expert scientists at the academy say that such tests are the only means of providing valid results. In cases where the use of canines is necessary, researchers should choose species or breeds that would endure the most minimal amount of suffering, the report stated.
The academy also recommended:
* Enhancement of the welfare of dogs used for scientific research.
* Improving research protocols and review processes, to track the impact of research projects on dogs.
* Establishment of long-term collaborations with organizations outside of VA, to foster alternatives to canine use in laboratory research.
* Development of a strategic roadmap for development of non-animal approaches to biomedical research.