Cosmetic companies often take heat for animal testing that they rarely — if ever — conduct anymore. Instead, it’s our nation’s universities that are the main culprits, wasting billions of our tax dollars and millions of animal lives for stupid, cruel, and useless experiments.
Uncle Sam doles out nearly $30 billion a year specifically for university research, approximately half of which is spent on animal testing subsidized by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Agriculture, NASA, and other agencies.
Harvard operates a taxpayer-funded mouse “fight club” (Harvard’s words, not mine) in which researchers breed aggressive mice, get them drunk, and force them to fight one another in scored matches not unlike dogfights. The price tag? $860,000 in taxpayer funds just last year.
At Princeton, experimenters confine monkeys in tiny cages, lock them in restraint devices, and record their screeching to create computer simulations of what it might sound like for a monkey to say “Will you marry me?”
Your bill for this project was $339,395 in 2017 and over $3 million since 2007.
Last year’s Wastebook released by Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., highlighted a $565,000 project at the University of California-San Diego in which amphibious fish were forced to walk on treadmills to the point of exhaustion.
Federally-funded boondoggles like these are the reason why experts estimate that 87.5 percent of biomedical research — particularly animal testing — is “wasteful.” This is especially true of government-funded research.
Last year, American Enterprise Institute scholar Dr. Thomas Stossel wrote, in the Wall Street Journal, that 85 percent of FDA-approved drugs and disease treatments are a result of privately-funded research, “not cash dumped into the National Institutes of Health.”
But, while the productive, ROI-minded private sector is resisting burdensome, wrong-headed government animal testing mandates, universities are fighting to keep taxpayer money flowing into their animal laboratories because they’ve become a veritable cash cow.
In addition to billions in research costs, a third of each federal grant goes towards university overhead — maintenance, utilities, administrative expenses — totaling $6.4 billion in tax money each year.
And once university faculty gets on the gravy train, it’s easy to stay on and hard to get off of it.
A few years ago, University of Wisconsin-Madison staff obtained approval to use dozens of cats in deadly taxpayer-funded brain experiments by writing that, “this number [of cats] allows us to collect enough data to keep up a productive publication record that ensures our constant funding from NIH over these 30 years.”