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After Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) refuses to run anti-dog experiment ads, watchdog group sues

KATIE O’CONNOR: ‘The group leading a campaign against painful dog experiments at McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond filed a lawsuit against the city’s transit service for refusing to carry advertisements disparaging the studies on its buses. White Coat Waste Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit with a self-proclaimed goal of ending taxpayer-funded animal experiments, is alleging that GRTC Transit System violated its First and 14th amendment rights by refusing to run the ads, deeming them political. The advertisement features an image of three dogs peeking out from behind bars overlaid with the text “Prisoners Of Waste,” under which it states, “McGuire VA Medical Center: Stop Taxpayer-Funded Dog Experiments”…

Earlier this year, White Coat Waste launched a campaign to stop experiments on dogs at McGuire, which the medical center was conducting as part of its research into cardiac health in humans, and for which it received funding through state grants. Some of the experiments are classified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as extremely painful without providing relief to the dogs

… The suit claims that the policy prohibiting political ads is too broad and allows the agency to decide what is considered political, which creates “content- and viewpoint-based discrimination.”… “The policy against so-called political ads allows the government to pick and choose what views people can express,” said Matthew Strugar, a Los Angeles-based attorney representing White Coat Waste. “They implement the policy in a way that appears inconsistent with their own policy and with the law”.’ SOURCE…

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