Politics

Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy for White Coat Waste Project with Rep. Nita Lowey, receiving a "Congressional Waste Warrior" for supporting legislation to end government spending on animal testing.
Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy for White Coat Waste Project with Rep. Nita Lowey, receiving a "Congressional Waste Warrior" for supporting legislation to end government spending on animal testing. Photo Credit: Courtesy of White Coat Waste Project

DC Watchdog Group: Nina Lowey A 'Warrior' In Protecting Animals From Experiments

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey is dogged in her support for animals. What a fitting swan song.

Lowey, 82, of Harrison,  is among the recipients of a 2019 Congressional Waste Warrior award for her outstanding leadership in ending wasteful and cruel taxpayer-funded animal She holds the 17th  district congressional seat in Westchester and Rockland counties and announced her retirement Oct. 10 after serving 31 years and currently chairs the House Appropriations Committee. 

“In just the past year, Congresswoman Lowey was instrumental in stopping deadly government experiments on kittens and puppies and enacting first-ever legislation to phase-out wasteful primate testing at several federal agencies," said White Coat Waste Project (WCP) Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy Justin Goodman, announcing the news.

"Lowey is a champion for taxpayers and animals, and we’re proud to honor her for her exceptional leadership to stop the government from wasting billions on unproductive and painful animal experiments opposed by most Americans," he added.

The watchdog group headquartered in Washington, D.C., works to stop taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs, monkeys, cats and other animals. Goodman presented the award to the congresswoman in her office in D.C. 

Lowey supported, passed and enacted legislation in December directing government agencies to phase out testing on dogs, cats and primates, said Daniel López, campaign coordinator for WCP.

The congresswoman helped introduce the PUPPERS Act to end painful dog testing at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which led to the end of many experiments and other historic reforms; and she cosponsored the KITTEN Act, which prompted the USDA to end its wasteful and cruel kitten testing in 2019.  Click here to read the PUPPERS Act. Click here to read the KITTEN Act.

Federal funding is used across the country for animal testing, and Lowey’s work with WCW has focused on curbing animal experiments inside of federal labs specifically, which are mainly located in the Washington, D.C., area but affect all taxpayers, White Coat Waste Projects Campaign Coordinator Daniel López told Daily Voice Plus.Yale and UConn are among the facilities in Connecticut that also use taxpayer dollars for animal testing.

While the animal testing referenced is not happening in Westchester according to Lowey, curbing animal testing at the federal level should matter to "anyone who pays taxes whether they live in Westchester, N.Y., or Juneau, Alaska," said López. 

Billions of dollars in government spending each year goes to animal testing that includes giving puppies heart attacks, scaring monkeys with rubber snakes and forcing kittens to eat cat and dog meat from China. 

"Most taxpayers would be shocked to learn that the federal government wastes upwards of $20 billion each year on animal testing that’s cruel, ineffective and opposed by a majority of Americans," he continued. "Since we focus on government programs, we use the acronym F.E.D. to describe our approach: we find taxpayer-funded animal testing using the Freedom of Information Act, government databases and tips from whistleblowers; we expose the waste and abuse in the media and then we work to de-fund it with our millions of grassroots advocates and lawmakers like Rep. Lowey," 

WCW has more than 2.5 million supporters, including more than 50,000 in New York, according to Lopez.

"Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for animal tests that are cruel, unscientific and ineffective," he said.