In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) introduced this bill to put an end to deadly USDA experiments on kittens:
“I’m shocked and disturbed that for decades the USDA — the very organization charged with enforcing animal welfare laws — has been unnecessarily killing hundreds of kittens in expensive and inefficient lab experiments. Any government research program like this one that’s been funded since the Nixon administration needs to be put under the microscope, especially when it involves using kittens as disposable test tubes in harmful tests that most taxpayers oppose.”
Original cosponsor Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) added:
“As a long-time cat owner, I was alarmed that the federal government has been secretly spending American’s tax dollars for archaic experiments on kittens, and then needlessly killing the healthy animals. Abusing pets in government labs with taxpayers’ money has to stop and I’ll continue to fight until it does.”
A recent investigation by the White Coat Waste Project uncovered that the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) takes part in experiments on kittens that result in the deaths of the animals, and have been doing so for many decades.
A USDA lab in Maryland deliberately breeds kittens and then feeds them Taxoplasma parasite-infected meat. The experimenters then collect the kittens’ feces for a period of 2-3 weeks to harvest the Taxoplasma parasite for use in other experiments, then kill the kittens.
This bill has the support of 35 bipartisan cosponsors, including 26 Democrats and nine Republicans. It’s also been endorsed by In Defense of Animals, White Coat Waste Project, and Save A Cat.
Summary by Lucas McConnell
(Photo Credit: DepthofField / iStock)