Bishop Calls for Review of Deadly USDA Experiments on Kittens

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Washington, May 8, 2018 | comments

WASHINGTON – This week, Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08) sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue expressing concerns and seeking more information about secretive and problematic experiments on cats and kittens being performed at a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland. In the USDA testing that has been receiving taxpayers’ dollars for nearly half-a-century, hundreds of kittens are bred, fed parasite-infected raw meat, and then killed, even though the USDA admits the kittens are healthy at the study’s completion.

“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,” said Rep. Bishop.

For more than a year, Rep. Bishop has been investigating and calling for reforms in the use of dogs and cats in government research labs. Most recently, he was part of a successful bipartisan effort that cut funding for painful and unproductive experiments on dogs at the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

“Congressman Bishop’s work to end government waste and animal abuse in USDA’s deadly kitten lab exemplifies his outstanding advocacy for taxpayers and animals. An overwhelming majority of Americans want to cut government spending on wasteful and cruel dog and cat experiments, and Rep. Bishop is ensuring their voices are heard on Capitol Hill,” said Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy at White Coat Waste Project, a nonpartisan taxpayer watchdog group that obtained many details of USDA’s kitten research through the Freedom of Information Act.

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