KITTEN Act an Important Step to End Taxpayer-Funded Kitten Slaughter

March 9, 2019 by TWN Staff
Tami Schreurs is a kitten foster mom for Peggy Adams Animal Rescue, which has an infant kitten program in Palm Beach County. (Carline Jean/Sun Sentinel/TNS)

This week, Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ohio, and Representative Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., introduced the bipartisan and bicameral Kittens In Traumatic Testing Ends Now Act, or KITTEN Act, which would end the U.S. Department of Agriculture practice of killing kittens after they’re used in agency testing.

Since 1970, the USDA has spent $650,000 each year to infect and later kill kittens in its Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory in Beltsville, MD. The lab breeds up to 100 kittens per year. Once they’re 2 months old, the kittens are fed parasite-infected raw meat. Their feces are then collected and parasitic eggs are harvested for use in other experiments. Once the eggs are collected, the 3-month-old kittens are killed and incinerated—even though the kittens could easily be treated and adopted out.

“The USDA’s decision to slaughter kittens after they are used in research is an archaic practice and horrific treatment, and we need to end it,” Senator Merkley said. “The KITTEN Act will protect these innocent animals from being needlessly euthanized in government testing, and make sure that they can be adopted by loving families instead.”

“This common sense, bipartisan bill will require the USDA to adhere to the same animal welfare standards that the department is charged to uphold,” Representative Panetta said. “While I strongly support scientific research, taxpayer money and federal resources should be spent on advancing scientific research in an ethical manner, not on inflicting pain on kittens or killing them after they are used in agency testing. I hope this bill helps us get closer to ending this cruel practice.”

The Centers for Disease Control, American Veterinary Medical Association, and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges say that these kittens are safe to have as pets. That’s why Merkley secured language in the Senate Appropriations Committee agricultural bill that urges USDA to consider alternative testing methods to infecting and killing kittens.

“Three thousand kittens killed and $22 million squandered for decades of cruel and unproductive USDA experiments is tragic whether you care about government waste, animal protection or both. Like a majority of Americans, our two-million-plus members want this nightmarish program ended and we applaud Senator Merkley for his outstanding leadership to end the USDA’s taxpayer-funded kitten slaughter,” said Noelle Callahan, public policy manager at taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project.

“The USDA’s archaic kitten experiments are out of step with 21st century research practices and animal welfare recommendations. Continuing to breed and kill perfectly healthy kittens for toxoplasmosis research is unethical and unnecessary, and I’m grateful to Senator Merkley for introducing the KITTEN Act to stop it once and for all,” said Hannah Shaw, a guest expert for Animal Planet, and founder of animal advocacy project, Kitten Lady.

The KITTEN Act would fully protect these kittens by requiring that the Secretary of Agriculture end the use of kittens and cats in any USDA experiments that unnecessarily hurts the animals. It is supported by a wide range of Senate and House cosponsors, including Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., and a bipartisan group of more than 20 members of Congress.

In The News

Funding, Sustainable Policy Will Close Digital Divide, AT&T CEO Says
Telecom
Funding, Sustainable Policy Will Close Digital Divide, AT&T CEO Says
February 24, 2021
by Victoria Turner

WASHINGTON -- Any policy aiming to truly address the nation’s broadband access crisis must be accompanied by robust federal funding to ensure these efforts are sustainable, according to one of the country’s top telecom executives. Speaking at the AT&T Policy Forum on Tuesday, John Stankey, the... Read More

Decline in Emissions and Transportation Sector Energy Demand in 2020
Climate
Decline in Emissions and Transportation Sector Energy Demand in 2020
February 24, 2021
by Reece Nations

Although 2020 was an economically woeful year due to the coronavirus pandemic, a joint report by BloombergNEF and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy indicates renewable energy sources made record contributions to the country’s power grid.  The annual report, called the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook,... Read More

FDA Says J&J 1-Dose Shot Prevents COVID; Final Decision Soon
Health
FDA Says J&J 1-Dose Shot Prevents COVID; Final Decision Soon

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine protects against COVID-19, according to an analysis by U.S. regulators Wednesday that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.  The Food and Drug Administration's scientists confirmed that overall the... Read More

School Voucher Push Taps Frustration Over Distance Learning
Education
School Voucher Push Taps Frustration Over Distance Learning

ATLANTA (AP) — With her children struggling in many classes last spring, Kelli Rivera became so frustrated with how her suburban Atlanta district was handling the coronavirus pandemic that she withdrew them to home-school them. They're back in public school and mostly attending class in person.... Read More

Biden to Order a Review of US Supply Chains for Vital Goods
White House
Biden to Order a Review of US Supply Chains for Vital Goods

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is preparing to sign an executive order to review U.S. supply chains for large-capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals, critical minerals and semiconductors that power cars, phones, military equipment and other goods.  The United States has become increasingly reliant on imports of these... Read More

‘War’ Report from FBI Overlooked Before Capitol Riot
Congress
‘War’ Report from FBI Overlooked Before Capitol Riot
February 24, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers repeated their conviction at a Senate hearing Tuesday that never again should insurrectionists be allowed to attack the U.S. Capitol like they did on Jan. 6 while acknowledging huge security lapses. They reviewed failures in intelligence reports, coordination of law enforcement efforts and... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top