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 was
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 USDA has said that it is ending its experiments on
cats, passage of the KITTEN Act will ensure that the USDA no longer has the
option of using cats for research in the future. It will also set a precedent
in amending the AWA to prohibit the use of a specific animal for research.
The House bill now has 67 co-sponsors; 218
sponsors would guarantee enough votes to pass the bill in the House. The
Senate bill still has only three co-sponsors, and more are needed to move it
Please urge your U.S. legislators to sign on as bill co-sponsors
and end this horrific research at the USDA permanently.
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 ask for your support and sponsorship of the KITTEN Act, S 708/HR 1622, which would 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."While the USDA has said that it is discontinuing their experiments on cats, passage of this bill will ensure that taxpayers do not foot the bill for purchasing, breeding, transporting, disposing of or experimenting on cats in the future. Instead, federal monies should be used to fund better, non-animal methods of conducting research to benefit human health.I hope that you will consider adding your name to the many cosponsors of the KITTEN Act to end cruel research on cats by the USDA. If you are already a co-sponsor, please urge the House and Senate respective Committees (House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture; Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry) to move forward with hearings on this legislation.Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]