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End Harmful Cat Experiments by the USDA

End Harmful Cat Experiments by the USDA

Name: Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now (KITTEN) Act

Bill Number: S 708/HR 1622

Senate Bill S 708, and its companion House Bill HR 1622, would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to end the use of cats by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for experiments that cause pain or stress to the animals. This legislation would amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to prohibit USDA research facilities from purchasing, breeding, transporting, housing, feeding, maintaining, disposing of or experimenting on cats as part of any study that would cause potential pain or stress to cats. This would include experiments where analgesics are administered to deal with pain.

The KITTEN Act was introduced in response to investigations by the White Coat Waste Project that revealed that a USDA facility in Maryland breeding and killing cats for ongoing toxoplasmosis research, in which kittens are exposed to the parasitic disease and then killed.

According to Senate sponsor Senator Jeff Merkley, “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.” Rep. Jimmy Panetta, who is sponsoring the House bill, agrees, and notes that “federal monies should be used to fund better, non-animal methods of conducting research to benefit human health.”

While the KITTEN Act will not end the use of cats for experimentation, it will shut down the horrific experiments by the USDA that came to light last year, along with even more horrific research using cats that surfaced this year. It will also set a precedent in amending the AWA to prohibit the use of a specific animal for research.


Call to Actions:

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Support a Ban on the USDA's Use of Cats in Painful Experiments

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to you in support of S 708/HR 1622, which will prohibit U.S. Department of Agriculture research facilities from conducting research that causes significant pain or stress to cats.

According to the bill's sponsor in the House, Rep. Jimmy Panetta, "This common sense, bipartisan bill will require the USDA to adhere to the same animal welfare standards that the department is charged to uphold. 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."

This legislation will help end recently-revealed inhumane research being conducted by the USDA. It will also ensure that taxpayers do not foot the bill for purchasing, breeding, transporting, disposing of or experimenting on cats. Instead, federal monies should be used to fund better, non-animal methods of conducting research to benefit human health.

I hope that you will give your support to the KITTEN Act to end cruel research on cats by the USDA.

Thank you for your consideration.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]