The United States Department of Agriculture has come under intense scrutiny after an investigation exposed, that for nearly half-a-century, taxpayers have been funding deadly kitten experiments at a laboratory for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland.
According to animal advocacy group, White Coat Waste Project, documents obtained by the organization through the Freedom of Information Act, include experimental protocols, animal purchase orders and photographs, showing the USDA’s Beltsville laboratory breeds 100 kittens a year and feeds them at two-months of age with Toxoplasma-infected raw meat. Researchers collect the feces of the kittens for the next few weeks to harvest the parasites to be used in other experiments and then kills, bags and incinerates the otherwise healthy kittens.
In a letter to the the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Congressman Mike Bishop of Michigan stated that it
“appears this project uses kittens as test test tubes. As you can imagine, I was shocked to hear that the USDA, the very organization set out to enforce animal welfare laws and regulations, was treating the life of animals with such contempt.”
These experiments on kittens have been going on since 1982 and taxpayer funded since 1970, at the cost of 100 kittens’ lives every year.
“While I support the objective of making food safer and protecting people and animals from infectious diseases, we must ensure taxpayers dollars are used effectively, efficiently and humanely,” Congressman Bishop continued.
Another question has still remained unanswered. Why haven’t the kittens been made available for adoption? Veterinarians agree that Toxoplasma oocysts can be cured with antibiotics.
To read Congressman Mike Bishop’s complete communication, please click here.
For more information and how you can help, please click here.
The USDA has not responded.
(Photos of kittens via FOIA White Coat Waste Project) Rest in peace little ones.
“Bag of bones” dies after being abandoned at a park – read the story here.
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