The USDA has been experimenting with and executing “hundreds of kittens” every year since 1982 as part of a cruel ongoing medical study that animal rights activists claim is “inhumane” and “completely unjustifiable.”
Congressman Mike Bishop of Michigan is now calling for a federal investigation after Bishop, after writing an open letter on Monday to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue saying it appears the decades-old “project uses kittens as test tubes.”
As Congressman Bishop reported in his letter, the USDA has been experimenting on kittens by feeding them “parasite-riddled raw meat” for two or three weeks so their feces can be collected. The kittens are then killed via incineration at a USDA Agricultural Research Service lab facility.
To make matters even worse, the USDA even admitted that at the end of the “study” the kittens are routinely healthy — and yet the government agency has a policy of incinerating them every year.
The Congressman’s letter also questions why these animals are killed each year instead of being put up for adoption.
In a written statement, Bishop contended further:
“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.”
Bishop says the Agriculture Department has been conducting the research since at least 1982, uses up to 100 kittens a year and was still active as of last month.
“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,” wrote Bishop, who does not own a cat.
The USDA has said this number is a “serious overestimation,” but as Detroit News reports, that number was taken from an internal document dated May 2015, which described the laboratory’s official protocol for animal use in the experiment. The document reportedly estimated that 300 cats would be used during a three-year period.
Bishop asked Perdue for details on the project’s cost, the number of cats or kittens used over the lifetime of the project, and whether the agency intends on renewing it at month’s end for another three years.
He also seeks an explanation for why the USDA, instead of putting the cats up for adoption, destroys the animals after two weeks, “given that the kittens being used are not sick and are treatable.”