Success! USDA Eliminates Deadly Kitten Experiments

For over 35 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted research that involved killing kittens.

The tiny but healthy animals were infected with toxoplasmosis, a disease usually contracted by eating contaminated meat. Once the kittens were infected, researchers studied the resulting parasites, which could cause death in humans.

As Care2′s Laura Goldman reported, the USDA bought dead cats from Asian markets and fed their brains, heart and tongues to healthy kittens in a Maryland laboratory. After the experiments, the tiny animals were killed and their bodies burned —  all of this at taxpayer expense.

Outraged by this animal abuse, the Care2 team created a petition, demanding an end to these experiments. Care2 members were equally horrified, and over 275,000 people added their names to the petition. 

Ironically, the USDA laboratory conducting these cruel experiments was in Maryland — a state that in 2018 passed the Beagle Freedom Bill, requiring laboratories to work with rescue organizations to find homes for animals, including cats, when they are no longer needed.

But that was taking take a while to go into effect, which is why the Care2 team started the petition, demanding that the USDA immediately stop killing its kittens and find loving homes for them instead.

Success! 

Even better than promising to find forever homes for these cats, the USDA announced it will put an end to this horrible research and will adopt out the remaining kittens. 

“Toxoplasmosis research has been redirected and the use of cats as part of any research protocol in any [Agricultural Research Service] laboratory has been discontinued and will not be reinstated,” according to a USDA statement.

This is huge! Congratulations and thank you to all the Care2 activists who signed this petition.

This pressure from activist groups led Reps. Jimmy Panetta, D-California; Brian Mast, R-Florida; Elissa Slotkin, D-Michigan; and Will Hurd, R-Texas, to introduce the KITTEN Act (Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now) in early March. The act demanded that the Secretary of Agriculture stop using cats and kittens in experiments that cause pain or stress. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, introduced a Senate version of the bill.

Now, as a result of this pressure,  the USDA has made this important decision to cease all experiments on kittens and cats, though this does not necessarily apply to other federal agencies. 

PETA estimated in 2017 that almost 1 million animals were held in U.S. laboratories for experiments — not including another 100 million mice and rats.

Before these poor creatures die, they may be strapped into restraint devices for hours — forced to inhale toxic fumes, have their spinal cords crushed or have their skin burned off.

Take action!

It’s great the USDA has ceased its cruel kitten experiments, but there are plenty more animals suffering in the name of science. If you’re inspired by how the Care2 team’s petition has helped save the lives of thousands of kittens, why not start your own petition on an issue important to you?

If you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You‘ll find Care2‘s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

 

Photo credit: Getty Images

101 comments

Angeles M
Angeles Madrazo1 months ago

Thank you

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Fran F
Fran F2 months ago

Thanks for posting this great news!

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Michael Friedmann
Michael F2 months ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

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Leopold Marek
Leopold Marek2 months ago

Tyfs

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Leopold Marek
Leopold Marek2 months ago

Tyfs

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Leopold Marek
Leopold Marek3 months ago

:-)

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Leopold Marek
Leopold Marek3 months ago

:-)

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Kathleen E
Kathleen England3 months ago

Not before time!

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Kevin B
Kevin B3 months ago

Thanks for posting

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Angeles M
Angeles Madrazo3 months ago

Great news! Thank you

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