Tell Congress to End the USDA's Slaughtering of Kittens

*Warning: This article may contain graphic and disturbing content. Please use your discretion in reading. All opinions belong to the author.

Recent information has revealed an atrocity occurring behind the USDA’s lab doors.

An advocacy group referred to as White Coat Waste Project released a study late last year that claims that kittens, which were purchased by the USDA from inhumane meat markets in China, Columbia, and Brazil and are now being housed in Maryland, are being used as test subjects in a line of cruel and pretty unnecessary experiments.

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One such experiment includes feeding feline and canine meat to other cats in order to test the effects of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can cause a flu-like disease in humans. However, it is very unclear how these tests would cause any impact on human health. Tests of this sort have been occurring in the US since 1982, and it is unclear whether they continue today. When the kitten no longer serves a purpose in the experiment, regardless of if they are healthy (which they typically are, as this parasite does not significantly affect them), they are immediately euthanized. It is currently estimated that the USDA has used, killed, and incinerated around 4,000 kittens since the start of this project.

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The lack of transparency in this research is particularly disturbing. After this issue was revealed by the study, the USDA denied a Freedom of Information Act request for information about the project and has refused to answer several other questions about what is really going on. However, in a statement from Sen. Jeff Merkley, around $650,000 has been used in these cruel experiments thus far; a representative of White Coat Waste has gone so far as to claim that up to $22 million could have been squandered on these tests.

So what can we do?

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The Kittens In Traumatic Testing Ends Now Act, or KITTEN Act, has been reintroduced by Sen. Merkley and Congressman Panetta as a bipartisan and bicameral act that would put an end to this inhumane treatment of animals. It is yet to be seen how this will play out, so for now, the best thing we can do is contact our senators and congressmen and women and remind them that, because their jobs depend on our votes, it is in their best interest to vote YES on this act.

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Colorado’s National Representatives and Senators:

Senator Michael Bennet, 202-224-5852

Senator Cory Gardner, 202-224-5941

Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CD-1), 202-225-4431

Congressman Joe Neguse (CD-2), 202-225-2161

Congressman Scott Tipton (CD-3), 202-225-4761

Congressman Ken Buck (CD-4), 202-225-4676

Congressman Doug Lamborn (CD-5), 202-225-4422

Congressman Jason Crow (CD-6), 202-225-7882

Congressman Ed Perlmutter (CD-7), 202-225-2645