The Department of Veterans Affairs will continue using dogs in fatal medical experiments despite backlash from veterans’ groups and Congress, USA Today reports. In one of the department’s experiments, dogs’ brains are removed to “test neurons to control breathing,” then the canines are killed using a lethal injection, the newspaper reports. VA spokesman Curt Cashour told USA TODAY that former secretary David Shulkin approved the continuation of the experiments on the same day he was fired by President Trump, but Shulkin denied this. A law Trump signed this year requires dog experiments to be “directly approved” by the VA secretary. Cashour also told USA Today that researchers only use dogs when “no other species would provide meaningful results and the work is ethically sound.” VA officials defended the dog experiments to the newspaper, saying they “may help veterans with heart conditions or breathing problems.” Groups like White Coat Waste Project and Paralyzed Veterans of America have reportedly expressed concerns about the experiments and would be open to the VA ending them.