I’ve written recently about President Trump’s spending bill, which marked a huge victory for man’s best friend by defunding painful and expensive and generally useless dog experiments at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Well, guess what? Taxpayers are now facing yet another horrid discovery — a catastrophe, if you will — this time at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
What the hell is with all of this taxpayer-funded animal torture and why has it all taken so long to be discovered? It seems like every time we shut down one sketchy program, another surfaces. Regardless, I’m going to find and whack these moles (no moles are harmed in the course of my activism, jokers) out of existence.
The latest kitten is out of the bag following yet another an investigation by taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, which exposed the deadly kitten experiments the agency has been secretly funding with hard-earned tax dollars and performing at their laboratory-turned-slaughterhouse in Maryland for nearly half a century.
Since at least 1970, the USDA has been breeding 100 kittens per year, feeding them Toxoplasma-infected raw meat at just two months old and collecting their feces for two-to-three weeks to harvest the parasite used in other experiments. Then, the department simply kills, bags and incinerates the kittens like they’re trash, despite admitting — along with expert authorities like the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — that virtually all of them are healthy after the experiments because the cats shed the parasite following just one Toxoplasma exposure, become immune and won’t transmit to humans or other animals.
To put that in perspective, that same year: the Beatles broke up, the U.S. invaded Cambodia, a gallon of gas cost just 36 cents and Apollo 13 was launched toward the moon. What’s more is the USDA wastes hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars on these increasingly outdated tests annually, making it the only federal agency currently conducting experiments on cats in which significant pain is caused and not relieved. Americans agree: It’s time for the madness to stop.
One third of all U.S. households, making up 36 million American families, have cats as pets, and 75 percent of voters want cat experiments to end. The USDA claims the cats they abuse are “essential to the success” of their research, but veterinary experts call the kitten tests “difficult and expensive” and say they raise “ethical concerns” and are advocating for development on in vitro models. Fortunately, we’re moving in the right direction.
Upon learning of the kitten tests, Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) immediately sent a strongly-worded letter to USDA secretary Sonny Perdue criticizing the experiments and demanding answers, writing, “[It] appears that this project uses kittens as test tubes. Put simply, it creates life to destroy life. While I support the objective of making food safer and protecting people and animals from infectious diseases, we must ensure taxpayer dollars are used effectively, efficiently, and humanely.”
He and House Agriculture Committee member Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) next introduced the bipartisan Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now (KITTEN) Act to permanently end all of USDA’s painful, taxpayer-funded experiments on cats just days after they were exposed.
“I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan KITTEN Act to put a stop to USDA’s tax-funded experiments on cats and kittens,” Bishop said in a statement at the time. “My constituents and other Americans have made it clear that they don’t want the federal government spending their hard-earned tax dollars to abuse and kill cats in cruel, inhumane and outdated experiments. The USDA must stop killing kittens, and I hope to work collaboratively with the agency towards that goal.”
Panetta seconded that, telling reporters, “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 innocent kittens in outdated experiments. I hope this bill helps us get closer to ending this cruel practice.”
For almost 50 years, the USDA has been needlessly infecting and slaughtering kittens before they’re even three years old without our knowledge, and we’ve been paying for it. American voters can help put an end to it all by urging their representatives against renewing the disturbing project when it expires at the end of the month and for adopting out any remaining cats instead. Congress can further do its part to make sure the project ends up in the litter box of history by passing the KITTEN Act and securing yet another win for taxpayers, animals and anyone fighting to drain the D.C. swamp. MAGA.