Charlie Crist Honored for Efforts to Stop Animal Testing

The White Coat Waste Project, which defines itself as a “taxpayer watchdog group representing more than 2 million liberty-lovers and animal-lovers who all agree: taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay over $15 billion every year for wasteful and cruel experiments on dogs, cats, monkeys and other animals,” honored a congressman from Florida for his work to cut down on using public funds to test on animals.

The group honored U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., this week with its “Congressional Waste Warrior” award.

In May, Crist and U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., both members of the Congressional Action Protection Caucus, brought back a bill reforming the Animal Welfare Act and another on how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) handles commercial breeding licenses.  The congressmen’s “Puppy Protection Act” tweaks USDA regulations under the Animal Welfare Act to enact “stronger standards for veterinary care, housing, breeding practices, and specific standards for socialization and placement of retired breeding dogs” for commercial dog breeders that engage sell dogs to retailers and brokers.

Crist is also being honored for his work on U.S. Rep. Brian Mast’s, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Dina Titus’, D-Nev., “Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species (PUPPERS) Act which “will put an end to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ practice of performing painful and distressing experiments on dogs, including drilling into dogs’ skulls, inducing heart attacks, and collapsing their lungs.”

The Tampa Bay Democrat is also being recognized for his work on bills allowing animals to be retired from federal labs after testing and on reforming how government agencies report on their efforts to end animal testing.

Anthony Bellotti, the president of the White Coat Waste Project, praised Crist on Wednesday.

“In just the past year, Congressman Crist was instrumental in ending wasteful and deadly federal experiments on puppies and enacting a historic phase-out of other disturbing government testing on dogs, cats and primates. Rep. Crist is a champion for taxpayers and animals and we’re proud to honor him for his exceptional leadership to stop federal agencies from wasting billions on unproductive and painful animal experiments opposed by most Americans,” Bellotti said.

Several members of the Florida delegation–including Democrat U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Republican U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Matt Gaetz and Mast–were honored with the “Waste Warrior” award in recent years.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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